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IIIIPUIIIilWIilM 
133 07479146 2 




WINIFRED 

KIRKLAND 



I 



l1 



.11 



r' 









POLLY PAT'S 
PAKISH 




• 1 knew CapUiin would come,' bi 



i^ 



.M .. 



f - ■ r. . ■ : : f 



1 p 



i 




t 

V 



Polly Pat's Parish 



By 

Winifred Kirkland 

Illustrated by 
Griselda Marshall McCluie 




r 



New York Chicago Toronto 

I j Fleming H. Revell Company 

London and Edinburgh 



Copyright, 1907, by 
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY 



Second Edition. 



T-ht: ^' 






Li 






ll|4'>4 



i« 



New York : 158 Fifth Avenue 
Chicago : 80 Wabash Avenue 
Toronto : 25 Richmond St.,W. 
London : 21 Paternoster Square 
Edinburgh : 100 Princes Street 




f 



u> 






IpI 

• - 11 


Contents 


PAGB 


I. 


A FmsT Caui . . . 


9 


n. 


The Rectobt Is Fubnished 


S9 


in. 


Blundebs and Benefit ,.. 


53 


IV. 


A ViCTOBT 


76 


V. 


An Infant Mutint . . * 


8S 


VI. 


Two Fights and Two'' 

• 


- 




FiGHTEBS . . . . . 


103 

> 


VII. 


The Feice of a Man . 


\1t% 


vin. 


FAEWEIili OE FaCTOEY EnD? 


144 


IX. 


Two Men and the Ministee 


166 


X. 


Two Fathees .... 


186 


XT. 


Eastee in Foeeestdals . 


208 



\ 

> 




List of Illustrations 

"'I knew Captain would come,' 

breathed Polly Pat." (Seepage we) title 

"Come into tlie parlour please, I-I- 

I'm the lady of the house." . . 16 

" When all were assembled, he with- 
drew." 56 

" * Ziah t Where are you going ? ' 

whispered Armette loudly." . , 78 



8 List of Illustrations 

FACING PAGE 

"While she talked, the Four-in-hand 
passed about the pictures of In- 
dians" 85 

" For him, Paul I Wake up Tim I " . 112 

"Jumped upon his lap and knelt 

there" 137 

"The Bishop meets *the Children of 

Israel'" 208 




v; 



Polly Pat's Parish 



A FIRST CALL 

A FTER three days of rain and 
/% raw September wind, the 
/ % afternoon sun shone out 
^^ "^^below a black bar of cloud 
westward over the hills that encircle 
Forrestdale. For three days Miss 
Alison Farwell had delayed an impor- 
tant call, and now at last she set out, 
picking her way along the muddy 
footpath that led from her beautiful 
old Hedgerows down into the paved 
streets of Forrestdale. She did not 
use a carriage, although she had three. 
It was one of Miss Alison's whims 
never to use a carriage except in call- 
ing on other carriages, so to speak. 
If those she visited were pedestrians, 

9 






* - w 



« 



J ■» •* 



lo Polly Pat's Parish 

so was she. For this idiosyncrasy 
her cousins, the Job Farwells, laughed 
at her. There was nothing Alison 
Farwell minded so little as being 
laughed at. This was one reason why 
she was the most influential woman 
in Forrestdale. 

Miss Alison was trimly tailored 
and dainty from head to foot. The 
light carriage of her slim figure, the 
girlish pink in her cheeks counter- 
acted the years that declared them- 
selves in the keenness of brown eyes, 
the faint powdering of grey in the 
soft chestnut waves swept back from 
her temples, in the quizzical amuse- 
ment lurking about her lips. Miss 
Alison picked her steps gingerly, 
hating mud as one might who was 
bom of generations of Forrestdale 
aristocrats. On the ridge of the 
sharp little hill that brings one down 
into Forrestdale she paused, looking 
out over the old town, no longer the 
Forrestdale of her girlhood. Spread- 













A First Cal l n 

ing out to her right, away from the 
streets of grave old houses and 
stately maple avenues, stretched the 
ugly red brick of the Farwell facto- 
ries. Their smoke hung between her 
and the old white tower of the court 
house. 

Radiating in irregular fashion 
from the factories ran lines of ugly 
squat cottages where lived the fac- 
tory people. From these cottages 
vague rumours of discontent and agi- 
tation were carried even as far as 
peaceful Hedgerows. Like all old 
Forrestdale, Miss Alison resented 
the invasion of the factories with 
their smoke and noise and bustle, yet 
it was the Farwells themselves who 
had introduced them, who owned 
them, old Job Farwell and his son 
Charles. Since the Farwells owned 
the rest of the town as well, and al- 
lowed no competitors, they had things 
quite their own way in Factory End. 
Still there were those who muttered 




12 Polly Pat's Parish 

that the real autocrat of Factory 
End was a certain brawny engineer, 
one John Noble, better known, from 
certain pugilistic tendencies, as Jack 
Smasher. 

Miss AHson's gaze wandered on to 
where above the trees the shining 
spire of Calvary Church shot sky- 
ward. The ivy-grown grey walls 
were invisible, but Miss Alison had 
always loved this glimpse of the stee- 
ple. Here was the church where for 
generations all the Farwells arid most 
of the rest of Forrestdale had wor- 
shipped. Here it was that old Dr. 
Trilling had done service for so many 
years, and, at last, but two months 
ago, been carried very gently across 
to the rectory, fallen suddenly into 
the last long sleep. 

Now a new and very different 
rector had entered into Dr. Truling's 
place. The vestry had been alive 
to the new needs of Forrestdale and 
of Calvary Church, and to this end 



A First Cal l 13 

had searched and found an active 
city missionary. In confidential con- 
clave the vestry had decided that the 
business of the new rector would be 
to unite the alien elements in his con- 
gregation, old Forrestdale and Fac- 
tory End, the rich and the poor, but 
in this effort the vestry themselves 
had little intention of assisting. The 
new minister had preached his first 
sermon the Sunday before. He was 
not one who could stay fastened to a 
manuscript or to a pulpit whUe he 
preached. He strode up and down 
the chancel step as the quick words 
came pouring. He sent his congre- 
gation home with souls a-tingle, yet 
for a few of them the impression that 
remained was not that of the face 
afire with energy, but the pathos of 
that same face in repose, mark of a 
persistent bravery. 

" Yes, we need to be waked up in 
Forrestdale," thought Miss Alison, 
setting forward now at a brisk pace 



14 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish 

along South Street. " Forrestdale is 
dull. I am dull myself." 

Miss Alison mounted the rectory 
steps and looked over the fair pro- 
portions of the grey stone building 
with that pride which all Calvary 
parish felt in possessing the finest 
rectory in the diocese. And how 
would the new minister furnish it? 
she wondered ; it had been an interior 
exquisite as that of Hedgerows itself 
in the days of Dr. .Truling and his 
sweet old sister. 

The door opened upon Keziah 
Smithwick, of all women! The next 
instant Miss Alison smiled at her own 
start of surprise, for the doors of 
newcomers in Forrestdale always did 
open upon Keziah Smithwick. There 
were few servants to be had in all the 
town, and Keziah was one. Upon 
any new arrival Keziah descended 
from the fastnesses of a farm in the 
hills and was welcomed with open and 
imsuspecting arms. For two weeks 



^ 



A First Cal l 15 

she did the work of a dozen, and anon 
departed silently as a thief in the 
night. 

Now Keziah's little grey eyes 
gleamed maliciously under her tight- 
drawn black brows, her mouth set 
grimly, for Keziah hated Miss Ali- 
son Farwell because once Miss Ali- 
son, the suffering mistress being her 
own sister, had told Keziah what she 
thought of her, and besides Miss Ali- 
son's skirts rustled. Incidentally, be 
it remembered, the two women be- 
longed to the same parish. There 
was a half minute's pause before 
Miss Alison's " Good-afternoon, 
Keziah. May I see Mrs. Everitt?" 

Ironic laughter overspread Ke- 
ziah'sface. "Mrs. Everitt I Well, I 
swum! There ain't no Mrs. Everitt 1 
Dead this long while, and worse luck 
for the raft of young ones she left 
for other folks to look after. Hear 
'em now 1 " 

" Raft of young ones," indeed, or 



1 6 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh 

a herd of buffalo stampeding through 
the iincarpeted upper rooms. Then 
suddenly, as if some fine ear had de- 
tected voices below, utter quiet, fol- 
lowed by a buzz of whispers. The 
visitor surmised eyes peering through 
the balustrade above, as she hesitated 
on the threshold. Keziah, hand on 
knob, was uninviting, 

"Well, dunno as there's anybody 
for you to call on here," she said. 

" 'Ziahl " rang out a sharp young 
voice from above, " I guess I'm here 
to call on!" arid down the stairs in 
hot haste some one clattered and tum- 
bled. Miss Alison saw an overgrown 
girl in an outgrown dress, tumbled 
red braids flying, clear pink colour 
that came and went under a mass of 
freckles, eager lips, eager grey eyes. 

"Come into the parlour, please," 
she panted. " I — I — I'm the lady of 
the house. I'm Polly Put." 

Miss Alison did as she was directed. 

"Will you sit down — on some- 




" Come into the parlour, please, J 
the house " 



A First Cal l 17 

thing? " pursued her hostess, for the 
parlour contained three wooden 
boxes, a tack hammer, and a very 
dirty white cotton rabbit. 

Humour pulled at the comers of 
Miss Alison's mouth, but it was im- 
possible to smile in the face of this 
towsled young person swinging her 
heels on a packing box, and regarding 
Miss Alison in such dead earnest- 
ness. 

"Your name?*' asked Miss Ali- 
son. " I'm not sure I caught it." 

"Polly Pat, from Mary Martha. 
Cap always called me that." 

"And Cap is ?" queried 

Miss Alison. 

" Oh, I forget you don't know us," 
said Polly Pat, laughing delight- 
fully. " You're the first person that's 
called except neighbours at the back 
door. Captain is father. You 
wouldn't know who the Four-in-hand 
are either, would you? " 

" No." 



1 8 Polly Pat's Parish 

" They're the others. There's Paul, 
he's twelve, and Dunder and Blitzen, 
the twins, ten years old — Eangsley 
and Maurice are their real names — • 
then Annette, the last, she's seven. 
We call them the Four-in-hand be- 
cause they're so hard to manage, and 
because they do everything together, 
except fighting. Paul does that for 
the whole lot of us. Paul's perfectly 
dreadful," she concluded, smiling 
with pride. 

"And may I ask how old you 
are?" 

" Sixteen. Sixteen U grown up, 
don't you truly think so? Captain 
and I had a big argument about it be- 
fore we moved here. I said it was, 
and Cap said it wasn't, but I could 
try for myself and find out if I 
wanted to, because anything was bet- 
ter than any more housekeepers." 

Her visitor was reheved that Polly 
Pat did not wait to hear her opinion, 
but went on. " It was rather sud- 



A First Call 19 

den, my deciding to be grown up. 
It was all for Cap. We've had sucK 
a time with housekeepers. WeVe 
answered the advertisements in the 
church papers. YouVe read them, 
haven't you? They sound so nice. 
Cap and all of us would read them 
together, and then we'd pick out the 
one that sounded the most mother-y, 
but when they came they weren't 
mother-y a bit. After we got rid of 
the Crayfish-the twins finished her 
— I saw how distracted Cap was get- 
ting, and I just decided I'd do it my- 
self, attend to things, I mean, the 
house and the children and the parish. 
Have you met our Captain?" she 
asked, abruptly. 

" Not yet, but I hope to soon," her 
visitor answered. 

There came over Polly Pat's face 
a look rapt and wonderful, transfig- 
uring its childishness. 

"I want to help Cap so!" she 
said, "more than I want anything 



20 Polly Pat's Parish 

in the world. I want to help him in 
the parish. He cares so much ahout 
it. Don't you suppose I can, if I try 
dreadfully hard? " 

The click of a latchkey saved Miss 
Alison's answer. 

" There he is now," said Polly Pal, 
and there he was in the doorway — a 
tall man of light, athletic build, in his 
first forties, with brown, boyish face 
clean shaven, a suspicion of tenseness 
about the eyes and temples, contra- 
dicted by the flashing friendliness 
and sweetness of his smile of wel- 
come. Polly Pat slipped a hand into 
his, and turned to her visitor with 
shining face. " This is Captain," she 
said simply. 

He shook hands in a hearty, boy- 
ish way, and sat down on the third 
packing box. 

"I am afraid you are not very 
comfortably seated. Miss Farwell; it 
is Miss Farwell, is it not? " he said. 

" I had forgotten all about my 



A First Call 21 

seat," answered Alison Farwell. " It 
is I who ought to apologise for in- 
truding on you before you are settled, 
before your furniture has even ar- 
rived." 

" Oh, it isn't going to arrive ! " cried 
Polly Pat; "we haven't any. We 
gave it all away." 

Miss Alison's face looked her be- 
wilderment. No words came to her 
assistance. 

" We didn't keep anything but the 
bedding arid Cap's desk and chair, 
and, of course, the books. We're 
sitting on the books now. When we 
got here, and 'Ziah came, she would 
have some pots and pans, and a bed 
to sleep on. Cap let her buy them. 
She wouldn't hear of my buying 
them," this last in an injured tone. 

"But you will surely need some 
furniture," exclaimed Miss Alison. 

" So it seemed to me," said the min- 
ister, looking at his visitor with 
troubled eyes. 



7 



22 Polly Pat's Parish 



" No," said Polly Pat, with con- 
viction, "I don't think so. Fumi- 
\ ture has always been one of the chief 

troubles. Those housekeeper ladies 
were always fussing about the way 
we treated it. It's always getting 
broken or wearing out. I believe we 
can just as well get along without it 
unta the children are grown up. It 
wiU make housekeeping so much 
easier for me." 

" It would not make housekeeping 
easier for me," said Miss Alison, 
" and I have kept house a good many 
ji years. Miss Everitt." 

Polly Pat's face went rosy red 
with conflicting feelings. 
' "No one ever called me that be- 

fore," she said; "it sounds nice. I 
like it — ^no, I don't either. I think 
I'd rather you called me Polly Pat, 
Miss Farwell," suddenly leaning for- 
ward and laying an impulsive hand 
in Miss Alison's soft gloved one. 

Miss Alison was not an impulsive 




A First Call 23 

woman. Few people made sudden 
advances to her. Now she felt her 
two hands closing over the hard little 
fist, as she looked into the fathomless 
grey depths of Polly Pat's eyes. The 
minister's voice made Miss Alison 
turn sharply as he looked at her over 
Polly Pat's head, a smile, half quiz- 
zical, half pathetic, on his lips. 

" It isn't always very easy work," 
he said, " this bringing ourselves up. 
We shall need help sometimes, per- 
haps, Miss Farwell." 

Both fun and tenderness were in 
Miss Alison's eyes as they met his. 
In that look Miss Alison and the 
minister had acknowledged that they 
shared between them a problem to be 
solved. Little did the third one of 
the group guess that the problem's 
name was Polly Pat. 

" Your Forrestdale is very beauti- 
ful," the minister went on; "I am 
sure we are going to be very happy 
here. It was hard to leave Randolph, 



24 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish 

but I wanted the children to have a 
sight of hills and trees, and to 
have cleaner air to breathe than was 
to be had in the city. It's time they 
knew the feel of the grass. Have 
you seen the others? " he asked. 

"No; may I?" Miss Alison re- 
sponded. 

He went to the door arid uttered a 
ringing yodel, which met with an 
instant response. Miss Alison saw 
one, two, three, four little bodies 
shoot down the balustrade and bounce 
from the newel post to the fldor light 
as rubber balls. The Four-in-hand 
filed in, none too tidy, and marched 
up to shake hands, all pretematurally 
snent; first Paul, red-haired, grey- 
eyed like Polly Pat, his square bull- 
dog face flashing into a surprisingly 
pleasant smile as he put out his hand ; 
then the twins, round-faced, cherubic, 
Dunder, the brown one, ever equable, 
matter-of-fact, and Blitzen, blue- 
eyed and blond, also equable and 



A First Call 25 

matter-of-fact, except when music 
shook him with an emotion he could 
not master; last little Annette, with 
her father's brown hair, her father's 
brown eyes, and her own sweet tooth- 
less smile. She looked appealing 
and kissable as a baby ; in fact no lit- 
tle sister was ever a more daring and 
resolute follower of elder brothers in 
all their maddest escapades. Little 
Annette when she came to Miss Ali- 
son lifted an expectant, dirty little 
face framed in towsled curls, and 
Miss Alison in all her daintiness put 
her two hands about the little face 
and kissed it. 

As one man, the Four-in-hand 
squatted down on the floor in a half 
circle about Miss Alison, and sat 
there looking up at her with bright, 
unwinking eyes, silent and wise as 
Hindoo idols. 

The rector and Miss Alison now 
had the conversation to themselves. 
It was all about the parish, of various 



26 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh 

people and circumstances needing to 
be explained to a new rector, of Old 
Forrestdale and of the diflSculties to 
be encountered in Factory End. To 
all that Miss Alison had to say the 
rector listened with keen, quick un- 
derstanding. To all this, Polly Pat 
listened, too, chin in hand, her face 
all alive and eager. 

But the conversation was a little 
dull for the Four-in-hand. Fifteen 
minutes of silence and inaction for 
them was unprecedented. There 
came a pause in the talk, interrupted 
by Paul with the abrupt inqmry: 

"Miss Farwell, can you do this? " 
At the words, down went his head, 
up went his heels. Thus inverted, he 
held himself rigid without the quiver 
of a muscle as he progressed, hand 
over hand, toward the door. He was 
instantly followed by Blitzen, with 
his " Miss Farwell, can you do this? " 
as he proceeded by a series of rapid 
back somersaults to the door and free- 



A First Call ^^ 

dom. A third "Miss Farwell, can 
you do this?" and Diinder, trans- 
formed into a human cartwheel, 
swiftly vanished from view. " Miss 
Farwell, can you do this? " piped An- 
nette. She drew her knees up to her 
chin, clasped her hands about them, 
and followed after her brothers by 
means of leapings into the air incred- 
ibly high, as if she'd been an India 
rubber hoptoad. The whole action 
was distinguished by the lightning- 
like rapidity that always character- 
ised both the movements and pur- 
poses of all the Everitts. 

The rector and Polly Pat turned 
upon their visitor faces of consterna- 
tion, and then all three broke into 
laughter that rang through the house 
and reached 'Ziah, sourly concocting 
a stew in the kitchen, and was echoed 
with irresistible shrill merriment from 
the Four-in-hand, rejoicing in their 
escape. Their amusement was still 
heard in intermittent explosions as 



28 Pol ly Paf s Pa rish 

Miss Alison took her leave. THe 
minister's arm slipped about Polly 
Pat as the two stood in the doorway 
facing Miss Alison as they said good- 
bye. The picture of the two remained 
long in Miss Alison's memory, both 
so eager to help, both needing help so 
much. 

" You will come soon again, won't 
you?" pleaded Polly Pat, squeezing 
Miss Alison's hand. " There are so 
many things we need to know, and 
we do so want to do our best for For- 
restdale." 

"I hope Forrestdale will be pa- 
tient with us," said the minister. 



II 

THE BECTOEY IS FURNISHED 

IN the fortnight succeeding Miss 
Alison's call, Polly Pat re- 
turned it three times. On the 
first occasion she went with her 
father, and wore a hlack suit she had 
bought just before leaving the city. 
She hadn't had time to wait for alter- 
ations, so that the coat had little ref- 
erence to her figure, but the skirt 
touched proudly all around. She 
carried a card-case without any cards ; 
they had been ordered for the new 
parish, but they hadn't yet arrived. 
She wore a matronly little hat, and 
her bronze braids were tucked up so 
clumsily that she scattered hairpins 
wherever she went. 

The second time she had come she 
had on her oldest (and shortest) 

skirt, and her hair flew out on the 

29 



3© Polly Pat's Parish 

wind as she came running up «ie hiU. 
She had held on to her dignity in the 
town streets, but reaching the hill be- 
yond, she had taken to a swifter pace, 
and arrived purple with the exercise 
and with the .rage due to a hot en- 
counter with 'Ziah. 

The third time Polly Pat came 
slowly up the hill, bearing a great 
bundle in one hand and trailing little 
Annette by the other. Polly Pat 
herself was pale with worry and a 
whole morning of vain effort. " An- 
nette needs new aprons," she said to 
Miss Alison without preliminary. 
" I don't believe I cut them right, and 
it takes so long to backstitch the 
seams, and she'll come out if I don't. 
Will you please teach me to sew on 
the machine?" 

"But, my dear, you haven't any 
machine." 

" I thought I could sew on yours," 
answered Polly Pat, opening her 
tired eyes very wide. 



The Rectory Is Furnished 3^ 

This being adopted so quickly, 
herself and her possessions, by a 
strange person of sixteen was a novel 
experience to Miss Alison. Yet if 
the natural impatience of a capable 
woman sometimes made her voice a 
little sharp as she directed Polly Pat's 
blundering fingers through the sew- 
ing lesson. Miss Alison forgot the 
sacrifice of a whole afternoon, when 
Polly Pat at parting clasped her arms 
about her neck and kissed her impet- 
uously. 

Yet in three visits Polly Pat had 
caught no hint of what was chiefly 
occupying Miss Alison's time and 
thought during that fortnight, and 
what was stirring dull Old Forrest- 
dale to an activity such as it had not 
enjoyed for many a year. From 
house to house on stately old Elm 
Street Miss Alison's carriage went 
bustling, and there was no one who 
was not ready to help her. Of all 
this the rectory knew nothing, and 



32 Polly Pat's Parish 

still less did it or Old Forrestdale 
know of the excited energy manifest- 
ing itself in Factory End as 'Ziah 
Smithwick, shawl over head, chatted 
by kitchen fires of an evening, and 
developed proud plans. 

It was the bright mid-morning of 
an early October Saturday. There 
proceeded from the bathroom sounds 
of great racket. Whenever the twins 
did not know what else to do with 
themselves, they took a bath. Except 
for the sweep of muddy river on the 
outskirts of Randolph, and a single 
wonderful day by the ocean, their ac- 
quaintance with water was confined 
to the bath tub. However, the bath 
tub and imagination were enough for 
them; in thought they ventured the 
boundless deep, meanwhile lustily 
trilling aquatic hynms, as they 
splashed and rubbed and pummelled 
each other. Now two sweet soprano 
voices, Dunder's soulless, Blitzen's 
heart-piercing, floated out— 



The Rect ory Is Furn ished 33 

** Pull for the shore^ sailor (splash)^ 
Pull for the shore (splash)^ 
Heed not the rolling wave (splash)^ 
But bend to the oar (splash)." 

Harkl What was that? They 
broke off singing, they clasped each 
other's necks in mock alarm, all 
a-quiver with curiosity. The front 
bell was ringing furiously, there was 
a thundering at the back door, the 
study knocker just below them was 
tap-tap-tapping impatiently. Whisk! 
They were out of the tub, into their 
bath robes, out of the door, and 
stretching their sleek wet heads far 
out over the upper balustrade. A trail 
of wet footprints across the polished 
floor marked their path. Polly Pat 
had flown to the front door; 'Ziah 
was at the back. 

"Wait here," cried Blitzen to 
Dunder; "I'll 'tend to the study." 
He flew back to the bathroom, 
cUmbed up on the window siU, 
slammed down the upper sash, and> 



f 



f 



•1 

i 
i 



34 Polly Pat's Parish 

flapping from it like a duster in the 
wind, shouted down, " Gto right in. 
He's gone away. It isn't locked. 
There isn't anybody left to go to the 
door. What's that? A 'frigerator? 
Take it in then, take it right into the 
study. Who's coming in the front 
door, Dimder? " he shouted back over 
his shoulder. 

" A bureau," shouted Dunder, " a 
big black bureau. Goodness! it's 
coming right upstairs, and I hear 
something else tumbling up the back 
stairs. Come here! Come here, 
quick! '* the last word rising to an im- 
possible shrillness, as Dunder danced 
up and down on his bare wet feet. 

The black bureau was assisted in 
its ascent by two liveried black foot- 
men, and followed by the round, 
flushed face, and the stout black-silk- 
clad form of Mrs. Job Farwell, who 
fanned herself with apoplectic energy 
as she panted after. In the upper 
hall just across from the staircase was 




The Rectory Is Furnished 35 

a door leading down, and something 
else was most certainly bmnping its 
way up the back stairway. Just as 
the bureau touched the level, the door 
was thrown open and a table ap- 
peared to be cast forth from invisible 
space. The bureau was of old ma- 
hogany ; the table had a red plush top 
festooned with ravelled rope, held in 
place by gilt tacks, and it stood 
shakily on legs composed of gilded 
spools. From the dusk of the stair- 
way emerged the little worn, wizened 
face, the wiry, bent little body of 
Mrs. John Noble, Jack Smasher's 
wife, Keziah's sister. Mrs. Farwell 
came forth from behind her bureau 
— she had turned alarmingly red. 

"But — ^but — ^but " she said. 

" Good-morning, ma'am," said 
Mrs. Noble, mild and polite ; she had 
none of 'Ziah's aggressiveness, she 
had more than her determination. 

"But we are furnishing the rec- 
tory," said Mrs. Farwell at last. 



36 P olly Pat's Pa rish 

" So are we/' said Mrs. Noble. 

Behind Mrs. Farwell on the front 
stairs and Mrs. Noble on the back, 
there formed an excited line, neither 
procession understanding at first 
what was barring its progress. Ten 
o'clock of the day on which the rector 
was known to be absent at the Cler- 
icus had been the time appointed by 
the committee of Old Forrestdale, 
and by that of Factory End for 
stocking that empty rectory by way 
of surprise for the rector on his 
return. Both sides had arrived 
promptly. In front of the house the 
street clattered with vehicles. From 
private carriages and express wag- 
gons were descending chairs, tables, 
beds, rolls of carpet, and stacking 
themselves on the lawn and piazzas. 

A very much homelier collection 
was pouring in at the back door, 
cots, dishes, pots and kettles, all 
that was portable by hand, all that 
could be spared from houses less gen- 



The Rectory Is Furnished 37 

erously stocked than those of Old 
Forrestdale. Now in their busy plan- 
ning for this invasion, this unprece- 
dented parochial activity, all For- 
restdale had discovered that they 
loved their new rector, this man with 
the boyish eyes, the boyish handshake, 
and the man's sympathy. Dr. Tru- 
ling had lived a quiet, scholarly life, 
remote from his people, opening the 
rectory sometimes to dispense a gen- 
tle, stately hospitality. Neither Old 
Forrestdale nor Factory End was 
used to a rector who needed them. 
The pewf ul of motherless little Ever- 
itts had strangely stirred people's 
hearts. 

It was a genuine outpouring 
of affection that brought about the 
invasion of the rectory on this Satur- 
day morning. Because both parties 
of the parish now stood there with 
their gifts in their hands, they re- 
sented all the more hotly this inter- 
ference each with the other. Excite- 



38 Pol ly Pat^s Pa rish 

ment quivered .all along the line as 
the state of affairs was communi- 
cated. Excitement buzzed in talk as 
little knots of people gathered in 
corners front and back, strident 
whispers guarded so that the parlour 
might not be heard by the kitchen, 
the kitchen by the parlour. 

Old Peter Newman, Forrestdale's 
chief carpenter and jobber, mum- 
bled away incoherently on the back 
steps into the ear of his stout daugh- 
ter-in-law, who had left her Sat- 
urday baking, and come in crisp 
blue calico, her sleeves rolled up, to 
lend her hearty arm to the rectory 
furnishing. 'Ziah went from one to 
the other of her friends, cheeks and 
eyes aflame, viewing the opposing 
faction with glances meant to slay, 
and slamming every available door. 
In the study Mrs. Easton, a small, 
sharp little woman, whose tongue 
was a whiplash, poured forth a nerv- 
ous flow of indignation into the ear 




The Rec tory Is Furn ished 39 

of Mrs. Charles Farwell, a stately 
young woman, whose very air of 
lofty indifference was an affront to 
Factory End. The rectory vibrated 
with excitement. 

Meanwhile the five motherless lit- 
tle Everitts, for whose comfort and 
convenience so much of this prepara- 
tion had been made, found themselves 
unceremoniously shoved into corners, 
whence they viewed the invaders with 
wondering and inquisitive eyes. 
None more alert than they to the fact 
that a crisis was enacting in their own 
hallway before their very faces. 
Polly Pat alone understood the full 
nature of the situation ; it was not for 
nothing that she was her father's con- 
fidante. Mrs. Farwell with her bu- 
reau and her footmen, Mrs. Noble 
with her table, still held possession 
of the upper hall, both bent in the 
same direction, the sunny southern 
room which was the rector's bedroom. 
It was a time for action, but whose? 



40 Polly Pat's Parish 

The rector was at the Clericus. Miss 
Alison Farwell was on her way, but 
at the other end of the town. 

Up the front staircase, wriggling 
her way past Mrs. Farwell, past the 
black footmen and the black bureau, 
came Polly Pat, red braids very 
mussy, her Saturday morning shirt- 
waist out at elbows. Her eyes and 
cheeks were bright with resolution. 
Her voice rang out so that all heard. 

" It's very kind of you, of course," 
she said; "all this furniture is very 
kind of you. I'm sure father would 
want me to thank you. But we really 
don't want it, you know." An ap- 
pealing little smile flashed across the 
irritating determination of her face 
and voice. "You see, since I'm 
housekeeper and don't know very 
much about it, it makes it easier for 
me without furniture. I'm pretty 
busy anyway with just the house — 
and the parish." 

,The parish, as represented by the 



The Rectory Is Furnished 41 

score of church members there gath- 
ered, stared open-mouthed. Polly 
Pat smUed again, but into unsympa- 
thetic faces. " Won't you please take 
it away? " she asked. 

"My child," cried Mrs. Easton, 
fiery temper in her tones, " you don't 
know what you're saying nor to 
whom you're speaking!" 

" No more she does," cried 'Ziah, 
who had pushed her way in and who 
now unexpectedly jomed forces with 
the enemy, both united against this 
audacious young person, their rector's 
daughter, " Who ever heard of any- 
body's hving without furniture?" 
stormed 'Ziah at Polly Pat. " Much 
you know about living or housekeep- 
ing! Go along and be a heathen if 
you want to, but let us make your 
father and the children comfortable 
the best we can. Miss Kiiow-it-all 1 I 
declare," 'Ziah looked aroimd for 
sympathy, and found it, too, from 
rich and poor alike, " it seems though 



42 Polly Pat's Parish 

sometimes I could wash my hands of 
the whole lot of them, she's that 
set and unreasonable!" And 'Ziah 
stooped and caught up Annette, who 
was clinging to her skirts, her lips 
quivering. "Go get dressed, for 
goodness' sake, boys," she admon- 
ished the twins sharply. 

"My dear," said Mrs. Farwell, 
panting, but finding voice at last, 
and addressing Polly Pat, " I think it 
would be better if you allowed older 
people to do what they think best for 
your father and for all of you. It 
really is not the place of a young 
girl to refuse kindness that is of- 
fered." 

A square little figure came out of 
the obscurity of a half -shut closet 
door. It advanced with knotted fists. 
Grey eyes scowled beneath a red mop 
of hair. 

"You stop scolding Polly Patl'* 
growled Paul. 

"Paul!" cried Polly Pat, the 



The Rectory Is Furnished 43 

anger that shook her ebbing from her 
in an instant at this new alann. 
"You can't— j«^^t— Mrs. FarweUl" 

She held his arm in an iron grasp. 
Her gust of anger had left her pale 
and helpless under attack. She real- 
ised that everyihing was going 
wrong, but she didn't know what to 
do. And Captain — ^what would he 
say, or think of all this? There came 
over her face that visionary intens- 
ity which always — ^poor Polly Pat I — 
preceded the saying of the wrong 
thing. Her lips trembled a little : " I 
thought it would be better for us not 
to have any furniture than — for you 
all — ^not to be friends." She looked 
from Mrs. Farwell's constituency 
to Mrs. Noble's. Both factions 
bristled. 

"Who's talking about not being 
friends?" snapped 'Ziah. 

" I trust, Miss Everitt," said Mrs. 
Farwell, "that your father's parish- 
ioners are all friends." 



44 Polly Pat's Parish 

" Then what is it all ahout? " ques- 
tioned Polly Pat, with eyes of fath- 
omless wonder. " I thought you were 
all awfully mad at each other." 

Then at last, at last, came Miss 
Alison. The news of the confusion 
at the rectory had reached her as she 
stepped from her carriage to the curb, 
but the trouble in Polly Pat's face, 
the exasperation on the other faces, 
was not so clear. However, she knew 
Polly Pat's genius for blunders. 

" Dearie," she said briskly, " won't 
you run down and see that Gilmore 
takes the basket out of the back of 
the carriage safely? " 

Then she turned to the others. *^ I 
am sure," she said, " that Mr. Ever- 
itt will be very glad to know that all 
his parish have wanted to make n^s 
home comfortable ; but wouldn't it 
easier for us aU if we should dmdp 
the house, some of us take seme 
rooms, some others?" 

The faces of Miss Alison's friends 



The Rectory Is Furnished 45 

looked relieved; the faces of the 
others acquiescent. 'Ziah was sullen. 

" Which rooms do we have? " she 
asked. 

A quarter of a minute Miss Alison 
hesitated. There was one room old 
Forrestdale had planned to make 
most comfortable for a man who 
seemed hardly to know what it meant 
to be thoroughly comfortable. For 
this room every article was selected, 
stood ready. But when Miss Alison 
spoke she said: 

" You take the southern front 
room, Mr. Everitt's room." 

A light of pleasure came into Mrs. 
Noble's tired eyes. 'Ziah was molli- 
fied, almost gracious, as she said, 
" You take the parlours then. You 
can make them look better than we 
can." 

" But — ^why — ^Alison ? " ex- 
postulated Mrs. Farwell. 

" Because he'd rather have them do 
it," whispered Miss Alison. 



46 Pol ly Pat^s Pa rish 

iffow indeed the rectory buzzed 
with activity. It was a day that 
Polly Pat long remembered for the 
acuteness of her discomfort. Assm*- 
edly the rectory was her own home, 
and she had a right to unmolested 
existence therein, but to-day she 
seemed to be in everybody's way, yet 
there seemed no littlest nook to which 
she might retire. No remotest attic 
closet was safe from the intrusion of 
that insistent parish. Did Polly Pat, 
shyly and with reddening cheeks, 
offer the assistance of her awkward 
hands to any of Mrs. Farwell's 
groups of workers, she was court- 
eously but coldly repulsed. As for 
her father's hmnbler parishioners, 
wherever they were, 'Ziah was, and 
between 'Ziah and Polly Pat there 
was fierce feud. The other Everitts 
might stand about, frank lookers-on, 
not unwelcome, and meeting fre- 
quently with hurried but kind atten- 
tion. But for this Polly Pat was too 




The Rectory Is Furnished 47 

old. It is unfortunate to be too 
young to be reasoned with like a 
grown-up, and too old to be forgiven 
for your mistakes like a child. All 
the time in the depths of her wistful, 
worried little soul, Polly Pat was 
conscious that she was not doing what 
Cap would have wished. 

It was in the early afternoon that 
Miss Alison found her beside the 
new flour barrel in the pantry. It 
went through Miss Alison with a 
sharpness to which she was unaccus- 
tomed to see Polly Pat's ruddy face 
so pinched with trouble. The others, 
those others who were not used to 
seeing Miss Alison demonstrative, 
were safely on the other side of 
closed doors. When Polly Pat 
looked like this, Alison Farwell was 
conscious of an overwhehning desu-e 
to keep her always a little girl, al- 
though she knew that it was her duty 
to help her to be a woman as soon as 
possible. Now she gathered the woe- 



48 Pol ly Pat^s Par ish 

begone figure to her in a great hug, 
" It's all right now, dearie," she said 
between kisses, "you needn't worry 
a bit. Listen to what I want you to 
do this minute. Gilmore is at the 
door with the carriage. Run out and 
jump in, and tell him to drive you 
over CardiflF Hill. It's beautiful 
there. Run along with you, girlie." 

While PoUy Pat was away, Miss 
Alison did a little talking, only a 
word or two here and there, the right 
word in the right ear, but enoug^i to 
make Old Forrestdale remember the 
next morning, when it saw Polly Pat 
enter the church, tall, broad-should- 
ered, her hair done high and the ma- 
tronly hat atop, the black skirts 
sweeping the floor — ^that she was only 
a little girl. 

When Polly Pat came back from 
her drive, her eyes dancing with the 
glory of autumn colours. Miss Ali- 
son was waiting, all ready to drive 
home. The children, as they fell 




The Rectory Is Furnished 49 

upon their big sister at the door, told 
her that pretty nearly everybody was 
gone, that pretty soon they could talk 
out loud again. "Mrs. Farwell's 
here still," said Blitzen, " and Judge 
Farwell's here, too, upstairs. He 
came to take her home." 

" Jack Smasher's here, too, out in 
the kitchen. He let me feel his mus- 
cle," Paul went on with the news. 

" And 'Ziah stood out in the din- 
ing-room," Dunder took up the ac- 
count, " and they all said good-bye to 
her when they went away." 

Verily it seemed as if the sun on 
that October Saturday would not go 
down on wrath, but deeper strife may 
shake a town than that of parish fac- 
tions. 

At last the click of the father's 
key. Polly Pat flew for her imme- 
morial right of first kiss. The Four- 
in-hand swarmed down upon him. 
Rapidly and lucidly Polly Pat 
poured forth the day's events. 



so Pol ly Pat's Pa rish 

" Cap, Cap, we're furnished 1 They 
came and furnished us while you 
were away I See the parlour and the 
hall. And we had an awful time for 
a while, until Miss Alison came. But 
they all went away all right. Only 
some of them are here still, in comers 
and upstairs." 

The rector looked ahout him and 
understood a little of what his eldest 
was saying. 

"You like it, don't you?" said 
Polly Pat, intent on his face. 

" It's a little more like home, don't 
you think, Polly Pat?" he assented 
apologetically. 

Then he gently put aside his en- 
tangling offspring and proceeded 
upstairs to his room for the supper- 
time tidying up. On the threshold 
he paused. Dusk was deepening the 
shadows, but daylight was still clear. 
It seemed that the conunittee was ex- 
hibiting its day's work to the hus- 
bands who had dropped in at the end 



The Rectory Is Furnished 5^ 

of the afternoon. Yet there was no 
pride in the gesture with which Mrs. 
Farwell was pointing out object 
after object in the rector's room to 
her husband, old Job Farwell, with 
the shock of white hair, the square 
jaw, the sharp, deep-set eyes. Mrs. 
Farwell's gesture meant disgust. 

" Why did you let them? " asked 
the Judge. 

"Alison I" answered Mrs. Far- 
well. 

In at the other door came little Mrs. 
Noble, her weary face aglow with 
pride. She tugged after her the 
doughty Jack Smasher, her husband, 
who tiptoed awkwardly in her wake. 

"Ain't it lovely, Jack?" she said. 

In half a second it had happened. 
It was not often that Job Farwell 
and John Noble met face to face, 
and when they did they were pre- 
pared and held themselves in leash. 
Now the flash of unexpected recog- 
nition found them off their guard. 




52 Pol ly Pat's Par ish 

Red hate leaped to their eyes as they 
faced each other, and then they re- 
membered, for in the mirror they had 
both seen a third man standing in the 
doorway. John Noble slmik back, 
stealing away downstairs. What 
right had he in that home, anyway? 
Judge Farwell advanced with out- 
stretched hand to the minister. Both 
men hoped he had not seen, for both 
knew that a man with eyes and lips 
like his would never understand hate. 
But the rector had seen. 



Ill 

BLUNDERS AND BENEFIT 

THE Sunday morning sun- 
shine of late November fell 
through stained glass win- 
dows on the rector's ear- 
nest face turned toward his people. 
He stood at the edge of the chancel 
step giving out the notices. 

" The Ladies' Guild of this par- 
ish/' he read, " will meet on Wednes- 
day next, at half -past three, at the 
rectory." He smoothed out the 
paper with a quick movement of 
strong, nervous hands. He always 
had to remember to curb his words 
against the yearning of his heart 
when he appealed directly to this 
people he had come to love, though 
not yet, as he knew, fully to under- 
stand. 

" I have been somewhat troubled," 

53 



54 Polly Pat's Parish 

he said, " as I have read the reports 
of recent years, to see how few the 
meetings of this guild have been and 
how scant the attendance. Can we 
not, at this first meeting of this new 
winter, try to swell the numbers, and, 
may I add, the enthusiasm of all 
members? I wish that all, all the 
women of this parish might be pres- 
ent at the rectory on next Wednes- 
day afternoon." 

In the rectory pew Polly Pat 
watched her father's face with eyes 
that kindled to his earnestness, for 
was she not one of the women of her 
father's parish? 

On Wednesday afternoon they 
came, came fifty strong, yet all after- 
noon the rector at each ring at the 
door watched for his Factory End, 
but it did not come. It never had 
attended the meetings of the Ladies* 
Guild and it didn't know how to be- 
gin. Old Forrestdale bustled in and 
buzzed about and packed itself into 




Blunders and Benefit 55 

the parlour and library with an air of 
possession such as in former days it 
had never felt. Since they had fur- 
nished it, the rectory belonged to 
them, and so did the rector, and so 
did the rector's children. 

Little Annette had claimed the 
privaege of opening the door. AU 
afternoon she never budged from her 
station behind the high portal, and 
she met each arrival with <a smile, 
speechless, toothless, sweet. She re- 
ceived petting in plenty and she was 
still small enough for guerdon of 
lollypbps. After the guests were all 
stowed away within, the boys stole 
down from above and claimed a share 
of the little sister's booty. 

At the library door the rector and 
Polly Pat welcomed each newcomer. 
The Ladies' Guild had taken for 
granted that the rector would stay 
with them during this first meeting, 
but the rector thought wiser not to do 
so. When all were assembled, he 



S6 Pol ly Pat^s Pari sh 

withdrew, after a brief but pertinent 
address. But, departing, he left be- 
hind him Polly Pat. The rector was 
so used to treating PoUy Pat as a 
woman that he sometimes forgot that 
other people might feel differently. 
The Ladies' Guild felt that PoUy 
Pat, her duties as hostess done, might 
very properly retire. The Ladies* 
Guild was a very grown-up society; 
most of it had husbands and children, 
many of it were grandmothers. It 
didn't know what to do with Polly 
Pat. 

Mrs. Farwell, the president, now 
came forward, as usual a little 
flushed and breathing quickly and 
heavily. Mrs. Easton, the secretary, 
took her seat close by, a pad on her 
knee for the keeping of the minutes. 
The Ladies' Guild had its spasms of 
parliamentary order. The president 
borrowed the secretary's pencil and, 
after long and perturbed tapping on 
the table with the same, at last re- 




" When all were assembled, he withdrew " 



>.^ 



r« . ■ 






1 *■ t ^ 



i 



Blunders and Benefit 57 

duced the chatter in the two rooms to 
a mere rustling akin to silence. 

" It is necessary at this first meet- 
ing of the year," Mrs. Farwell said, 
" that we should once again consider 
plans of work for the winter to come, 
and also decide the time and number 
of meetings. I should propose that 
we open our meeting with some dis- 
cussion of these two subjects." 

"Madam President," Mrs. Phil- 
lips drew her long languid length to 
a standing posture as she spoke, " I 
move that our meetings take place 
once in two months as heretofore." 

" Oh, my goodness, that's not often 
enough 1" exploded someone over by 
the library door. The rooms were 
silent now, silent and stifiF. Polly 
Pat jumped to her feet. "Mrs. — 
Mr. — ^Madam President, it isn't 
often enough, really and truly. Why, 
what can we ever get done if we 
don't meet oftener than that? Be- 
sides, it gives people a chance to go 



58 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh 

to sleep in between times. Why, we'd 
forget all about what happened at 
the last meeting, and that's just what 
was the trouble before, that's just 
what father said you — ^we needed — 
I mean enthusiasm." 

She paused breathless, while 
through the back of her chair stole 
the gentle, gloved hand of dear old 
Mrs. Priestman, and plucked at 
Polly Pat's skirt, intimating that it 
were well for her to sit down. As 
she did so, the two parlours broke into 
tumultuous discussion, only nobody 
heard anybody's view but her own, 
nobody, that is, but Polly Pat, who 
through the excited talk around her 
caught enough to make her feel much 
as she had done on that eventful day 
of the furnishing. She sat with the 
same queer lonesomeness pressing 
down upon her spirits, while QMiss 
Alison, quite helpless, sat the width 
of two great rooms away from her. 

At length the society became aware 




Blunders and Benefit 59 

that its president, her face empur- 
pled, was heating the table for order, 
and that if she didn't get it, the result 
might be apoplexy. 

" Ladies,'* she panted at last, " the 
motion before the house is that we 
meet once in two months. Is the mo- 
tion seconded? " 

It was not for fully a moment, 
then Mrs. Priestman, who could 
never resist rescuing any motion thus 
pitifully hung in air unsupported, 
quavered, " I second the motion." 

"Is there any discussion?" 

Evidently not a whisper. 

"Are you ready for the vote?" 

They were. 
Those in favour please say aye." 
Aye," responded Mrs. Phillips, 
transfixed, and not she alone, by be- 
ing the only afikmative. 

"Noes?" said the president. 

"No!" thundered the Ladies' 
Guild, gazing about at itself in 
amazement as it did so. 






6o Pol ly Pat^s Pari sh 

Mrs. Priestman now rustled gently 
to her feet. "Madam President, I 
move that the Ladies* Guild meet 
every two weeks." 

" I second the motion," cried Polly 
Pat, her voice blithe with joy. The 
motion was carried triumphantly, 
against a faint murmur of negatives. 
Polly Pat turned about in her chair 
and beamed upon the whole society, 
and then her face grew troubled, for 
the society did not beam back at Polly 
Pat and she didn't know why. That 
curious chilliness in the atmosphere 
kept her quiet for a while ; for a time 
she only half heard the discussion of 
plans for the winter's work. 

The Ladies' Guild, for all its grow- 
ing affection for Mr. Everitt, was 
conservative, and energy had never 
been its besetting virtue. What was 
this they were talking about, sewing 
for the Nortons and the Ellises, two 
families of notoriously shiftless Fac- 
tory Enders, always conveniently 



Blunders and Benefit 6i 

ready for the services of the Ladies' 
Guild? Was this all? Was this prom- 
ising first meeting coming to a thus 
tame and impotent conclusion? Across 
Polly Pat's imagination flamed the 
thought of Captain's disappoint- 
ment, destroying her brief shyness. 
Her eyes full of their visionary fire 
she sprang up. " Oh, this isn't all, 
is it? All that we're going to do? 
Just Factory End, just Forrestdale? 
No other work? And besides, I 
shouldn't think Factory End people 
ever would come to the meetings if 
we sew for them. They won't want 
to come and sew for themselves, will 
they? I shouldn't think they would. 
And father does so want them to 
come and be part of things. 

" Then aren't there going to be any 
missions? Missions are so excit- 
ing and father just loves missions. 
Alaska, for instance. We had a man 
come and talk to us last year about 
Alaska, and it was perfectly splen- 



62 Polly Pat's Parish 

did. Or Indians— Indians are so in- 
teresting. I don't think it's any fun 
just to work for Forrestdale, for our- 
selveSrf It seems to me it's sort of 
selfish. Don't you think it's sort of 
selfish, Mrs. — ^Madam — ^President? " 

It is a rule of human nature that 
when people are hit home, they are 
very likely to hit back, at least at 
first. Mrs. Easton rose excitedly. 
She didn't so much as notice the 
chair. She turned on Polly Pat. 

"Miss Everitt, may I be allowed 
to remark that in my early days 
young people did not instruct their 
elders? This society is not used to 
being taught its duty by girls of six- 
teen, by one — ^if you will allow me to 
add — ^who has not been asked to join 
the Ladies' Guild, and who is not a 
member 1" 

Polly Pat stood up, her face blank 
with a great surprise. 

"Why, that's so," she said. "I 
don't belong. I suppose I shouldn't 



BJunders and Benefit 63 

have come. I never once thought of 
that/' 

Polly Pat's seat was at the end 
of a row. She turned so that she 
faced them all, standing against the 
dark library curtain, her two hands 
pressing its folds. " And you don't 
want me here at all, do you?'* she 
asked. 

Utter silence. Away across from 
Polly Pat Alison Farwell ground 
her handkerchief to a hard baU be- 
tween cold palms. Something within 
her fought to keep her silent; to be 
champion too often was to fail, she 
knew. 

" Aren't you going to let me help 
— in Cap's church? " 

No whisper of reply. Tears do 
not come readily to motherless girls. 
Polly Pat had put crying aside in 
those six years in which she had 
stoutly mothered four younger than 
herself. Hers was such a young face 
there against the curtain, and it was 



64 Po lly Paf s Par ish 

grown strange now with the passion 
of service upon it. None of those 
women who saw her ever forgot her 
standmg there. 

"Then I'll go right away now," 
said Polly Pat. She did not know, 
nor did they just then, that in the 
hour in which they turned her out of 
their society they took her into their 
hearts forever. 

It was many months later that 
Polly Pat leaned over her father's 
shoulder to look at the diocesan re- 
port he held out to her. 

"Seel" he cried, his face bright 
with boyish pride. 

Polly Pat read. " But, Cap," she 
spoke, puzzled, " they didn't seem to 
like it at all that time I spoke about 



missions." 



« 



Can't help that. It's the finest 
mission report in the diocese," he re- 
sponded gleefully. 

But all this came long afterwards ; 
there was no such comfort for Polly 



Blun ders and Be nefit 6 5 

Pat that November afternoon. After 
the last loiterer of the Ladies' Guild 
had trickled out of the front door 
and away, Alison Farwell still 
waited. She sent the Four-in-hand 
to search the house for Polly Pat, but 
there was no Polly Pat to be found. 
When she had reached her own home, 
and, wraps handed to a maid in the 
hall, had pressed on into the library, 
she saw the red fire flame leap on the 
polished andirons and also quiver on 
something bowed perilously near to 
the andirons, nothing else than the 
burnished bronze of Polly Pat's head. 
As Miss Alison entered, Polly Pat 
jumped out of the dusk and hugged 
her. 

"IVe gone and done it again, 
haven't I?" she said despondently. 

" Sit down, girlie, and let's talk," 
replied Miss Alison, herself sinking 
into the great leather arm-chair by 
the fire. It had once been very 
lonely, that great comfortable chair 



66 Pol ly Paf s Par ish 

by the library fire before a little foot- 
stool had been drawn close beside it 
in the fire glow, before young hands 
had pressed hers in the dusk, while 
a girl whose bright hair Miss Alison 
stroked, talked of many things. The 
loneliness seemed remote now; in 
reality it was only a few weeks away. 
It was a beautiful room. Miss Ali- 
son's library, rich with magic colours, 
restful. Here and there from dusky 
corners twinkled a bit of old brass, 
^ool Hellenic shapes gleamed white 
against the mellow walls. There 
were pictures you had never seen 
before that drew your soul along 
strange new paths. From Miss Ali- 
son's bookcases you could sail to 
Wonderland in how many diflPerent 
winged ships 1 If in all your life you 
had never known things like these, 
nor guessed how hungry you were for 
them, and if to the magical peace of 
the room there was added that most 
comfortable presence. Miss Alison 



1 



Blunders and Benefit 67 

herself — ah, Polly Pat was not such 
a luckless young person after all I 

Miss Alison's hand was soft on 
Polly Pat's hair. 

" I just wanted to do something," 
explained Polly Pat. " It seems 
so queer not to have a chance to do 
something. 

I've thought of something you 
might do, dear. 



etning." 
" ± ve xnuugi 
;ar." 

"What?" 

" It's the children," went on Miss 



Alison, "the children of the parish. 
We've never done very much for the 
babies. The Sunday-school is a 
pretty shabby little affair, I'm afraid. 
What would you think of a little mis- 
sionary society for the children, boys 
and girls under ten, say." 

"Could I?" 

"I've seen four little people who ^ 
are pretty happy when their big sister /^^^ 




?.0«^^ 



V V 



.•••- 



68 Pol ly Paf s Pari sh 

" Would they — ^would the parish — 
let me? " Polly Pat asked wistfully. 

" Yes, I think they would," Miss 
Alison responded almost sharply. 

PoUy Pat's spirits recovered with 
the true Everitt elasticity. She bub- 
bled over with plans, and Miss Ali- 
son let her run on and on, both for- 
getting that the November darkness 
was growing black and that back at 
the rectory people might be getting 
anxious, until both looked up startled, 
to see the rector standing in the door- 
way. He looked very tired that 
night. He had spent the afternoon 
in Factory End, and there he had 
heard things that shook him with 
worry and his own helplessness. Then 
home through the chilly twilight to 
find no Polly Pat at the door, and 
afterwards here to Hedgerows to 
search for her ; he could not feel that 
Forrestdale, as he thought of certain 
dark-browed loungers he had often 
seen in Factory End, was any too 



Blunders and Benefit 69 

safe a place after nightfall. It was 
with relief that he paused on the 
library threshold, drinking in the 
peacefulness of the picture before 
him. 

"Oh, Cap I" cried Polly Pat, 
jumping up. " Is it so late? Were 
you worried about me?" 

"I'm not worried now," he an- 
swered, smiUng, but speaking with a 
weariness both Miss Alison and Polly 
Pat were quick to feel; "but it is 
late. I heard rumours of supper over- 
cooked and 'Ziah is in that state of 
mind she herself would describe as 
a ' pepper- jig.' You'd better hurry 
into your wraps." 

Polly Pat flew away and the rector 
turned to Miss Alison to pour out his 
anxiety quickly before her return. 

" Trouble's inevitable, I'm afraid. 
I can see how it must have been gath- 
ering for years. Forrestdale's re- 
moteness and the lack of competition 
here have obscured the problem 



70 Polly Pat's Parish 

somewhat, but in reality it's the old 
problem — ^native American demand- 
ing a man's wages against the for- 
eigner willing for a time to undersell 
him in day's labour. I'm too new to 
the issues here to speak authorita- 
tively, but it seems to me that the 
just fame and high market value of 
the Farwell work are due to the fact 
that the factories are run by men and 
women of good old New England 
stock. 

"They won't put the official de- 
mand for the increased scale before 
the Judge until the first of March, 
but he and Jack Noble seem to have 
been having some preliminary skir- 
mishing on the subject, and the 
Judge is as determined not to raise 
wages as Jack is to have them raised. 
The clash means a strike, the strike 
means that the Judge will bring 
in the foreigner. Then I don't 
know what will happen to Factory 
End/' 



Blunders and Benefit 71 

Miss Alison gave a little shudder 
of repugnance. "WeVe always 
been so quiet in Forrestdale/' she 
said. "I hate the factories!" 

" It makes it worse/' went on the 
rector reflectively, " that Judge Far- 
well and Jack Noble are both of the 
same old New England blood; and 
yet," he added boyishly, " that ought 
to make them the best sort of team 
reaUy." 

"Ready," interrupted Polly Pat. 
As they hurried home in the darkness 
she told her father aU about her new 
plan. He listened absently at first 
and then with interest — ^perhaps to 
bring the children, the little rich ones 
and the little poor ones, together, 
might help a little to bridge that pain- 
ful chasm in his parish; at least to 
think and plan with Polly Pat was 
relaxation from the thought of those 
deeper differences that no Infant 
Missionary Society was going to 
remedy. 



72 Polly Pat's Parish 

Still the rector seemed to enter 
buoyantly into Polly Pat's schemes, 
gave out a stirring notice of the new 
society from his chancel next Sun- 
day; with Polly Pat canvassed Fac- 
tory End for little members, remem- 
bering that Factory End, little and 
big, needed special urging to bring it 
to the rectory. 

Polly Pat came back from that 
afternoon of calls feeling strangely 
older. She had not dreamed that 
Factory End was quite so gloomy a 
place. Keenly sensitive as she was, 
she could not account for the feel- 
ing of oppression arid ill omen that 
palled upon her spirits there. She 
was particularly haunted by the face 
of little Timothy Noble, a pale, 
freckled little lad, with his mother's 
wistfulness of eye and lip. Pally 
Pat's heart, with its early ripened 
motherliness, went out to little Tim- 
othy, and as for Timothy, on that 
same afternoon, he utterly lost his 




Blunders and Benefit 73 

heart to the minister's ruddy-haired 
'' Miss Mary." 

All five Everitts united in prepara- 
tions for the first meeting. They 
were all to be members of course. 
The boys were somewhat over age, 
but they were deemed indispensable 
as hosts. Polly Pat had decided that 
the end of the new missionary en- 
deavour should be Indians. To stim- 
ulate the infant imagination she 
would place before its eyes pictures 
of Indians, so she set the Four-in- 
hand to cutting and pasting, various 
mission journals afi^ording abundant 
material. Thus in scrap-books you 
could see the Indian pictoriaUy pre- 
sented in all stages from beady-eyed, 
placid papoose to scarred and bat- 
tered and blanketed old chief. You 
could see, too — and be fired to zeal 
thereby — the Indian as he appeared 
in photographs before and after ac- 
cepting education. 

The Four-in-hand snipped and 



74 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh 

pasted most earnestly, and since in 
all its four little hearts it was loyal 
to its father and had been brought up 
on missions, it never acknowledged 
how much it preferred the Indian in 
a condition of blanket and wigwam 
to the Indian in the garb and the 
domicile of civilisation. As it pasted, 
the Four-in-hand got itself and the 
new library furniture most gloriously 
sticky. 

A sweeter kind of stickiness af- 
fected the dining-room table when 
they came to making candy for their 
impending guests. In the candy- 
making Polly Pat insisted on a most 
rigorous self-denial; you could eat 
only such pieces as you accidentally 
dropped upon the floor. Blitzen de- 
veloped a most enviable adeptness in 
dropping his portion, until poor An- 
nette wailed, her little lips set with 
painstaking effort, " I wish I could 
drop somel" 

Polly Pat, thus stem witH the 



Blunders and Benefit 75 

others, was inwardly discomfited to 
find how much she wanted to eat some 
candy herself. 

The young Everitts made their 
preparations under a constant fire of 
protest and reprimand from 'Ziah. 
'Ziah had indeed put up with much 
in that rectory, and never before had 
she brooked any inconvenience at 
anybody's hands. Those who knew 
her best might have detected signs 
of restiveness on her part, even while 
she toiled hardest for the rector's 
family. A darkling purpose was 
taking clearer and clearer form in her 
mind. That night when she had at 
last peremptorily swept the children 
up to bed, and ten o'clock and half- 
past and eleven found her still scour- 
ing ofi^ sugar, ground hopelessly into 
the dining-room rug, that purpose 
flared into the certainty of resolve. 

" This is too much," she flamed out, 
as she straightened her aching back, 
" I just will, so there! " 



IV 

A VICTOEY 

IT was the chUl, wintry dawn of 
the next morning. In a blue 
black sky the December stars 
still burned brightly. Down 
the third-floor stairs of the rectory 
stole a stealthy figure. It was coated 
and bonnetted, and just above the 
sullen black eyes a heavy brown veil 
was tightly bound. In the big third 
story front room a strong, battered 
trunk stood packed and strapped. 
Just so many a time before had 'Ziah 
Smithwick deserted in the hour of 
need, while the household slept on, 
confident of breakfast. 

But never before had 'Ziah's heart- 
strings pulled her back thus uncom- 
fortably; Blitzen had sneezed last 
night; was he taking cold? Paul 

had a bruise on his knee no one but 

76 



A Victory TJ 

'Ziah knew about; Dunder would 
miss his baked potato; the rector, 
whose meekness had ever abashed 
'Ziah more than any severity, never 
seemed to know what he was eating, 
but he did like a good cup of coffee; 
Polly Pat, it would teach her one good 
lesson, but yet, yet — ^she was only six- 
teen—and there was one of the six 
'Ziah dared not think of at all, and 
that was little Annette, her baby. 
'Ziah gave herself an angry shake — 
she who had wearied of many an 
easier task, was she to be the slave of 
six? 

The house appeared all dark and 
silent and asleep, but one little per- 
son there always woke up early, but 
by law was compelled to lie still, gaz- 
ing at the ceiling and watching the 
square of window brighten into day. 
What impulse prompted 'Ziah to 
steal from door to door to listen that 
all was well within? Her shoes 
creaked frightfully, and a door 



78 Pol ly Paf s Pari sh 

popped open. There stood a wee 
eariton flannel mermaid, for they still 
tied Annette into a bag at night — 
with tumbled curls and eyes bright 
and dark in the light of the flickering 
gas jet. 

'Ziah's bonnet and coat and mit- 
tens smacked of adventure. " 'Ziahl 
Where are you going?" whispered 
Annette loudly. 

" Get back to bed quick I It's still 
night." 

"'Tisn't! I heard the clock; it's 
past five." 

" Get right into bed," cried 'Ziah, 
picking her up. 

"No, sir," cried Annette, kicking 
away with determination, not with 
anger. " I'm going along with you. 
You wait. I can get dressed the fast- 
est of all." She could indeed. An- 
nette was a small tornado at the toilet. 
'Ziah's protests and pleadings she 
met with unconcern, for little An- 
nette at seven was sometimes a resist- 




hispered Annette 



^ 



A Victory 79 

less will, besides 'Ziah loved her, be- 
sides — 'Ziah sat helpless on the bed, 
until within five swift minutes An- 
nette stood before her, garbed, 
washed, but uncombed. 

"Let my hair go," she said; "my 
coat and hat are (Jownstairs. Come 
on. Where is it we're going, any- 
way? " 

Frosty, starry, wonderful was the 
out-of-doors into which they fared. 
Crisp snow was under foot and the 
street Kghts were stiU burning. An- 
nette danced in ecstasy of adventure. 
'Ziah was dazed and her feet aimless 
with irresolution. "Where?" cried 
Annette, both hands clasping 'Ziah's, 
her glowing little face raised, 
"Where?" 

'Ziah did not answer, and at inter- 
vals Annette repeated the question, 
growing used to 'Ziah's silence, for 
this mysterious morning walk was 
fun enough without knowing whither 
it led. They were drifting down to 



8o Pol ly Pat^s Pari sh 

Factory End, to Jack Noble's house. 
Hither on other such walks 'Ziah had 
come. From her sister's house she 
would send for her tnmk and engage 
horse and carriage to take her home 
to that snug little f ann in the For- 
restdale hills. Just five miles away 
lay 'Ziah's own home and freedom. 

Annette shivered from head to foot 
at the noise, for suddenly, across the 
stillness, one after one, booming, 
shrieking, shrilling, the factory whis- 
ties rang out six o'clock. All For- 
restdale was used to that early morn- 
ing shrieking of whistles, but down 
here close by, in Factory End, the 
whistles were deafening, discordant, 
prolonging their noise on and on. 
Lights woke up in many windows. It 
would soon be breakfast time in Fac- 
tory End. By and by it would be 
breakfast time at the rectory, too. 
They were at Jack Noble's gate — 
should 'Ziah go in? But what to do 
with this prancing, dancing witch of 



A Victory 8i 

a girl at her side? What to do with 
her at this present minute ? What to 
do with the love of her in all the 
months to come? 'Ziah came to a 
dead stand. Once more Annette de- 
manded, "Where, 'Ziah?" and this 
time at last her voice rang with com- 
mand. 'Ziah looked down at her out 
of her abstraction, and as she looked 
something shook her through and 
through, and she lifted Annette up 
and smothered her with kisses, and 
then at last *Ziah answered one word 
only. 

"Homel'* And with this she 
dropped Annette and turned sharply 
about, and her feet, no longer pur- 
poseless, bore her straight to the rec- 
tory. 

The Everitts had never had a bet- 
ter breakfast than they had that 
morning, nor a fiercer cook. Surely 
it is only self-respecting to be fero- 
cious toward those for whom for 
love's sake one has given up freedom. 



V 

AN INFANT MUTINY 

THE afternoon was long in 
coming. Polly Pat was 
all day tense with excite- 
ment and the Four-in- 
hand caught her spirit. When the 
five young Everitts resolved them- 
selves into a reception committee 
they could he very delightful indeed ; 
so that when the Children's Mission- 
ary Society singly and in groups ap- 
peared at the rectory door at three 
o'clock, it was received by engaging 
hosts and hostesses. Annette opened 
the door, meeting her guests with 
chattering warmth. The twins were 
instantly friends with all the world. 
Paul, aloof and without cordiality, 
still enjoyed much popularity by 
reason of that prowess in personal 

combat which numerous small boys 

82 



An Infant Mutiny 83 

near at hand, and small girls at a dis- 
tance, had viewed and admired. As 
for Polly Pat, all children found a 
way to her heart straight as homing 
pigeons. 

There were some forty small peo- 
ple assembled, and the crowded 
library was soon in a hubbub of chat- 
ter and confusion. True, there were 
signs of disaffection that Polly Pat 
was quick to perceive. On the porch, 
the small overshoes belonging to Old 
Forrestdale stood on one side of the 
door aloof from those of Factory 
End. In Polly Pat's room, where the 
children had taken off their wraps, 
small Flo Farwell, a nine-year-old of 
spirit, had indignantly caught up her 
coat from the spot where she had first 
tossed it beside Mattie Noble's, and 
had placed it with her little sister's 
on a chair apart. Down in the library 
the small folk of Old Forrestdale sat 
in a group by themselves and did most 
of the talking, while Factory End, 



84 Po lly Pat^s Pa rish 

clean scrubbed and shy, viewed them 
wonderingly. Old Forrestdale wore 
square-cropped hair and trim white 
dresses, while Factory End exhibited 
frizzes and stuffy woollens, 

Timothy Noble, pale and wide- 
eyed, followed Polly Pat as she flew 
about, like a httle silent shadow. 
This 'Ziah observed as she peeped 
within now and then. Timothy's 
devotion had somewhat softened his 
Aunt 'Ziah toward Polly Pat. The 
sight of him even moved her so far 
as to comply with a request of Polly 
Pat's for chocolate for the company, 
a request indignantly refused earlier 
in the day. 

But the Children's Missionary So- 
ciety never got so far as the choco- 
late. Polly Pat rose to make an 
eager address of explanation — ^the 
meaning of missions, of their society, 
the meaning of Indians. Her red 
braids were tossed back, her face 
glowed. She wished Cap and Miss 



/ ^ 















H^ 


Jb 


iM 



"While she talked, the Cour-in-haad passed about the 
pictures of Indians " 



An Infant Mutiny 85 

Alison were there to see. She had 
done what the grown-ups could not: 
here were Factory End and Old For- 
restdale seated together and every- 
thing seeming fair and friendly 
While she talked, the Four-in-hand, 
in accordance with previous instruc- 
tions, diligently passed about the pic- 
tures of Indians so carefully pasted; 
anon they would as diligently pass 
the candy standing ready on the din- 
ing-room table. 

President Polly Pat talked on 
so eagerly of the needs of her In- 
dians that her small hearers waxed 
round-eyed with excitement and zeaL 
It had been a matter of much con- 
cern to Polly Pat just how this zeal 
should be directed. They would cap- 
ture some small redskin out there, by 
proxy, of course, through some mis- 
sionary in the field, adopt him and 
educate him at a distance, and photo- 
graphs and reports of his progress 
would constantly be sent back to the 



86 Pol ly Pat's Par ish 

Children's Missionary Society of Cal- 
vary Church, 

But education takes money, and 
this the C, M. S. must earn. It would 
be fun and profit, too, she suggested, 
if they give an entertainment in 
which the small people should in tab- 
leaux represent various aspects of 
Indian life. Her suggestion as it 
penetrated was met with shouts of 
approval. 

But when Polly Pat read the 
names of the committee she had 
chosen to assist in the entertainment, 
there was a strange silence ; very few 
of Polly Pat's audience understood 
what a committee was, but at least 
the Old Forrestdale half understood 
and resented the proximity of their 
names to certain others on the list 
that Polly Pat read — Florence Far- 
well, Timothy Noble, Joseph New- 
man, Katharine Easton. Little Fac- 
tory End was quite still, not imder- 
standing, but beaming upon Polly 



An Infant Mutiny 87 

Pat, because it liked her well; but on 
the other side was a buzz of whispers, 
a shrugging of small shoulders, and 
sidelong glances of the eyes. Grown- 
up Forrestdale was not always frank, 
but Flo Farwell at nine was a per- 
fectly frank little snob. She was a 
leader, too, and now she rose to her 
feet with a flutter of curls and a rat- 
tle of starched pique. Timothy No- 
ble, gazing across at her, thought her 
very pretty, notwithstanding the fact 
that he was accustomed to hearing 
Judge Farwell and all his house con- 
stantly anathematised. 

Flo diddled about on one toe an 
instant, then spoke out : " Miss Ev- 
eritt, I know what a conmiittee is. 
Mother has them, and Grandma. It's 
where people work all together. So 
I don't think we could have a com- 
mittee like that you read. Katharine 
and I don't know those boys. They 
go to public school and we go to Miss 
Nemer's." 



88 Pol ly Pat^s Pa rish 

"Don't you think it would be a 
good way for you to get acquainted 
with those boys?" suggested PoUy 
Pat. 

"Oh, no, we can't; they're from 
Factory End, We don't play with 
Factory End children — ever." 

In Timothy Noble's pale cheeks 
there mounted a deep red flush, but 
he sat silent, passive as always. Not 
so his younger sister, who had snap- 
ping eyes hke her Aunt 'Ziah's, and 
who always fought Tim's battles for 
him. She sprang up. " Tim doesn't 
want to play on that committee 
either," she cried; "he wouldn't play 
with Flossie Farwell, not if you asked 
him I " She flounced down in her seat, 
her eyes darting fire at Flo, who still 
stood protesting, her head drooped a 
little. All her mother's haughtiness 
spoke in her next words — ^they were 
as challenging to the minister's 
daughter as in similar circumstances 
her mother's might have been to the 
minister himself. 



An Infant Mutiny 89 

" Miss Everitt, aren't you going to 
change the committee? " 

"No, dear," answered Polly Pat, 
sorely troubled. "Wait a minute, 

dear " for all the Farwell pride 

and temper were flaming in Flo's 
cheeks, and Flo Farwell was spoiled. 

" Then I'm not going to stay here! 
I'm just going home! I didn't sup- 
pose there'd be Factory End children 
here anyway. Mother didn't want 
us to come, but Grandpa said we 
should. I'm going home— you'd 
better come, too," she turned to her 
followers, seated behind her. These 
hesitated, rose, were bewildered, but 
finally, carried on by Flo's mastery, 
swept out in confusion to the hall, 
and upstairs for their wraps. But 
as they began to move, Mattie Noble 
jumped up, clutching the chair back 
before her: " You won't play with us 
— ^I can tell you what — ^my father 
says — ^he says Factory End will show 
the FarweUs some day — ^we'U show 
youl" 



90 Polly Pat's Parish 

Timothy pulled her down and 
turned a pale, strange face on Polly 
Pat. "I'm goin', too ; we're goin' 1 " 
he said. 

" No, no, Tim, stay ; you mustn't 
go off like this." 

"Yes, I'm goin'; I ain't goin' to 
stay here;" his sensitive lips were 
tense. Polly Pat recognised a dog- 
gedness she could not master. 

Factory End followed Old For- 
restdale upstairs after its wraps, clat- 
tering on the polished stairs. Old 
Forrestdale ceased its excited talk as 
the other party entered. The Four- 
in-hand, sorely at sea, went about 
begging its guests to stay, urging 
chocolate, candy, imploring them not 
to be mad, to look at the pictures some 
more — anything. A curious numb- 
ness and inability to meet this crisis 
had come over Polly Pat. It was as 
if in a flash in this enmity between 
little children she had seen all the bit- 
terness that lay behind it, seen the im- 




An Infant Mutiny 91 

possibility of the task she had so 
lightly set out upon. She felt helpless 
as her precious C. M. S. rushed into its 
wraps and rubbers, and swiftly, with 
embarrassed leave-taking, vanished 
from her grasp out of the front door. 
Then at last she came to herself with 
sudden resolution. -The Four-in- 
hand stood in the haU gazing at her 
silently, looking to her to do some- 
thing. Polly Pat made a dash for 
her coat and hat in the hall closet. 
" It mustn't end like this," she cried. 
"It mustn't I It isn't their fault 
really. I'm going to see their 
mothers." 

The sharp December air nipped 
Polly Pat's cheeks to a bright rose 
as she sped toward Factory End. 
She arrived on the heels of the little 
Nobles before they had had time to 
undo muffler and hood, before Mattie 
could stutter out an explanation of 
their sudden return. Mrs. Noble, 
bewildered by the abruptness of Polly 



92 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish 

Pat's entrance, ushered her into the 
stuffy, shabby, over-upholstered par- 
lour, without stopping to shut the 
door into the room beyond. The chil- 
dren and their mother stood gazing 
at Polly Pat, waiting. Mattie's eyes 
still snapped fire, but Tim's face was 
full of a strange pain that made him 
look like a little old man. 

"They must come back," Polly 
Pat plunged in. " They just must I 
Not to-day, it's too late now; but 
next week. We'll begin over again 
then. You'll send them, won't you, 
Mrs. Noble?" 

" I don't understand, Miss ^" 

" Oh, ma," Mattie burst in, " that 
Flossie Farwell, she wouldn't be on 
the committee with Tim, and so she 
got mad and went home and took all 
the rest, and then Tim got mad, too 
— ^you know how mad he is when he is 
mad, and so we all came home." 

" I won't never go back," said Tim 
duUy. 




An Infant Mutiny 93 






Oh, Tim," pleaded Polly Pat, 

Flo Farwell was a sUij little girl 
and didn't understand — I'm going to 
see her mother, too, and we want to 
try over again to see if we can't all be 
friends in our society." 

" I won't never come again," said 
Tim. 

" What's this? " questioned a big 
voice. 

Tim shrank to Polly Pat's side. 
He always shrank at his father's 
voice. Jack Noble bent a dark 
glance at him. For the first time 
Polly Pat was face to face with Jack 
Noble. His great figure filled the Ut- 
tle doorway. He had hands of an 
iron strength. Only the keenness of 
his eyes contradicted the brutishness 
of his jaw. "What's Tim been 
doing? " 

" Nothing," Mattie answered; " it's 
not Tim, it's that Flossie Farwell. 
She wouldn't play with Tim on Miss 
Everitt's committee. She got mad 




94 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish 

and we got mad, and we all came 
away quick and ain't goin' again." 

"You got a right to go if Miss 
Everitt wants you." 

" Ain't goin' just the same.'' 

Jack Noble hunched himself 
against the lintel and surveyed the 
group. A half smile played upon 
his lips, giving to his heavy features 
a whoHy unexpected look of intellec- 
tual subtlety. Polly Pat resented his 
gaze— it seemed to be studying her 
as if she were a strange specimen. 

"You're like him, ain't you?" 
John Noble said slowly. "I been 
studying him all this fall, but not 
near enough for him to know it, I 
guess. I ain't none of your regular 
attendants, though I believe I was a 
member once when I was a boy," he 
chuckled, "but I watch him all the 
same. You tell him from me it can't 
be done." 

What?" asked Polly Pat. 
Nor you nor him can't mix fire 



i6 



An Infant Mutiny 95 

and water, rich and poor, them that 
works and them that spends. The 
world ain't made that way. 'Tain't 
made fair." His face grew dark. 
" No, sir, my kids don't go to no so- 
ciety with Charles Farwell's kids!" 

"But if," said PoUy Pat, "if I 
could get the Farwell children back, 
wouldn't you let yours come? " 

"Goin' to see their ma about 
them?" he asked. 

" Yes." . 

Jack threw back his head and 
laughed, a queer laugh, half pure 
humour, half bitterness. 

" You're a new one to me," he said, 
" you and him." Then instantly all 
his amusement died away into a set 
black frown. 

" Let the Farwells wait I " he said. 

The early winter dark had already 
shut down as Polly Pat hurried up 
the hiU to Judge Farwell's house. Red 
Chimneys, which lay just around the 
sweep of hills beyond Hedgerows. 



96 Pol ly Pat^s Par ish 

The Farwells were all gathered 
about the roaring fire in the great 
hall. Judge Farwell and his wife, his 
son and young Mrs. Farwell and 
their two Uttle girls. Flo and Sybil 
had had time to tell their story. Ev- 
idently the family circle had been dis- 
cussing it, for Polly Pat heard, as the 
black footman opened the door, the 
low, smooth tones of Charles Far- 
well. 

"The man needs suppressing. 
He'll spoil the town. He's on the 
wrong tack with Factory End. Can't 
he do his duty by them without mak- 
ing friends of them? " 

" I'm not sure," it was sometimes 
diflScult for the Judge to Uve down 
to his son's ideals, "that he can," 
growled the Judge's bass. " It's his 
way. Maybe it's the right way, but 
it's a mighty bad way for us just now. 
Church and business are pretty well 
mixed for the Farwells." 

Then all perceived Polly Pat, as 



An Infant Mutiny 97 

the footman brought her forward, 
standing there both shy and eager, 
the firelight lighting her rosy face 
and blown bronze hair. There was a 
perceptible stiffening, a perceptible 
effort to receive her cordially. In 
spite of the antidote of Miss Alison's 
influence, Polly Pat had not by her 
behaviour on the occasion of the rec- 
tory furnishing or the first meeting 
of the Ladies' Guild endeared herself 
to the hearts of Mrs. Farwell and her 
daughter-in-law. 

Polly Pat swept straight to the 
point, addressing Mrs. Charles Far- 
well. 

" Won't you please make the chil- 
dren come back? " she said. " Father 
and I did so want to have the children 
of the church all work together. It's 
such a shame for the children to feel 
like that. It was too bad of Flo." 

From beneath bushy brows, Judge 
Farwell's eyes surveyed Polly Pat 
with a twinkle of liking. He won- 



98 Pol ly Paf s Par ish 

dered what it was about her that was 
like her father. 

" I am afraid. Miss Everitt, that I 
must own my sympathies are with 
Flossie," said Mrs. Charles Farwell. 
" She knows I wish her to be very 
careful of her acquaintance. No, I 
think we shall have to withdraw our 
little daughters from your mission- 
ary society, for I'm afraid it is, as 
you are trying to organise it — ^a little 
—mixed." 

"Of course it's mixed; I want it 
mixed ; so does father. He wants the 
whole church mixed." 

Now Charles Farwell had for some 
time desired to conamunicate certain 
of his sentiments to Mr. Everitt. 
He was not a man who chose direct 
encounter, as did his father. He 
chose another way now. 

"Has it ever occurred to your 
father," he asked slowly, leaning his 
tall length against the mantel as he 
spoke, "that he might possibly be 
mistaken in the matter? " 




An Infant Mutiny 99 

Polly Pat flamed at the veiled sneer 
in the tone. 

"He isn't mistaken. Captain 
couldn't be mistaken about a thing 
like that I Why should your little girl 
not have anything to do with Tim 
Noble just because he's poor and she's 
rich?" 

"There are other reasons," said 
Mrs. Charles haughtily. 

" What other reasons? " cried Polly 
Pat. 

"My dear," said the other Mrs. 
Farwell, gathering herself together 
impressively, " have you ever thought 
that you sometimes show a tendency 
to interfere in matters that do not 
concern you and about which, as a 
very yoimg girl, you know nothing at 
all?" 

Everybody expected an outburst 
from Polly Pat. No one in Forrest- 
dale ever knew what the rector's 
daughter was going to do or say next. 
No outburst followed. Instead, Polly 
Pat's temper collapsed before their 



1114311^ 



loo Polly Pat's Parish 

eyes. Her eyes grew wide, her lips 
trembled. Polly Pat on her high 
horse would have provoked many a 
saint; Polly Pat in hmnility was so 
appealing that it hurt. 

" I've thought so a great many 
times," she answered Mrs. Farwell, 
" afterwards. Perhaps I'd better go 
now without saying anything more. 
I suppose I've made the usual mess 
of it. But I wish the chndren would 
come back. Good-bye." 

Polly Pat was such a desperately 
honest person that it was sometimes 
hard for ordinary persons to know 
what to say to her speeches. There 
was an embarrassed pause as she with- 
drew, though the eyes of the Far- 
wells were not wholly imfriendly. 
The Judge at last cleared a husky 
throat, jumped from his chair, and 
followed Polly Pat to the door. 

"Never mind," was all he could 
think of to say. 

Polly Pat at the door turned wide 



An Infant Mutiny loi 

eyes to his. " Do you think Captain 
mistaken?" she asked. 

The Judge hesitated just too long. 

"But you like him, don't you?" 
asked Polly Pat. 

"I do I" the Judge thundered., 
though stiU husky. 

Outside the hill road was black 
under the December stars. Polly Pat 
remembered they would be anxious 
about her at home and hurried past 
Hedgerows, much as she longed to 
stop. Just below the gate there was 
a turn, and here, as they neared home. 
Miss Alison's horses always made a 
sudden dash. Polly Pat heard the 
soimd of wheels, knew by the sudden 
clatter of hurried hoof beats that it 
was Miss Alison's carriage, drew to 
one side as the black shapes loomed 
up before her, and then her heart 
stopped beating, for just in front of 
the horses, dimly outlined in the star- 
light, was a little girl. The horses 
reared on two feet as Gilmore pulled 



99 



■ 
I 



1 02 Polly Pafs Parish 

them up short, not daring to look be- 
fore him. The child rolled like a ball 
from mider the horses' hoofs, and 
fell on Polly Pat — and it was An- 
nette. The door of the carriage 
opened. Miss Alison looked out. 

" It's the minister's girls," said Gil- 
more ; " we nearly drove over the little 
one.' 

" I ran away to look for you," ex- 
plained Annette. 

Never before had Miss Alison 
been stern to Polly Pat, but she had 
just come from the rectory, where 
the rector was just organising a 
search for Annette. The white worry 
of his face was before her eyes. 

" Get into the carriage, both of 
you," said Miss Alison ; " I will take 
you home. Polly Pat, while you are 
away busy with other children, per- 
haps there are children at home who 
are your first concern." 



VI 

TWO FIGHTS AND TWO FIGHTEES 

POLLY PAT always remem- 
bered their first Christmas 
in Forrestdale, not because 
anything happened, rather 
because nothing did, and yet every- 
body seemed to be expecting some- 
thing. Peaceful Forrestdale hardly 
knew how to meet the curious tension 
that pervaded the whole town. The 
silent combat of wills between Judge 
Farwell and Jack Noble subtly af- 
fected all the place, combat more 
dogged for the reason that both the 
Judge and Jack were of the same 
stock of old New England fighters. 
True the Captain and Polly Pat 
managed to make an uproarious 
Christmas for the Four-in-hand, 
merry-makmg in which even 'Ziah 

joined with grim effort. But Polly 

103 



I04 Polly Pat's Parish 

Pat herself had never felt so old, so 
out of the Christmas spirit. She was 
sensitive to every changing thought 
in her father's mind, and she knew by 
the growing tenseness of his eyes and 
lips that he was girding himself for 
battle. The strife that would tear 
Forrestdale in two was surely coming. 
Could one man stay it? Well, both 
Polly Pat and her father knew that 
he must try. 

It had been agreed by the rector, 
Miss Alison and Polly Pat in solemn 
conclave that the C. M. S. should not 
be revived. Polly Pat was strength- 
ened in this resolution chiefly by the 
memory of little Tim Noble's face 
when Flo Farwell had refused to 
know him — ^that little, patient, old- 
man face made Polly Pat tremble at 
issues too great for her. Besides, 
Polly Pat was discouraged and there 
is no discouragement like that of six- 
teen or like that of Polly Pat. The 
recollection of that dark evening, of 



Two Fights 105 

rearing hoofs, and her own Annette 
fleeing to her still turned her sick and 
faint. For the present Polly Pat felt 
quite content to let Cap's puzzling 
parish quite alone while she attended 
to her own children. 

Her own four were puzzling 
enough. Paul, for instance, was 
daily more of a problem. He was 
not at all the pacific member of so- 
ciety that a minister's son might be 
expected to be. It had come to be 
that whenever a certain compact, 
silent ring of men and boys was ob- 
served in the village streets, people 
inquired, " Is it Pluto or the minis- 
ter's boy? " Pluto was Charles Far- 
well's bull terrier. It was always 
either Pluto or Paul, for Jack 
Smasher's encounters were more seri- 
ous and more secret. 

Dunder and Blitzen found it easy 
to obey their father's command never 
to engage in personal combat. The 
twins were debonair and friendly 



io6 Polly Pat's Parish 

with all the world, but as for Paul, 
the mere maimer in which he chewed 
a straw as he marched down the vil- 
lage street was an affront. Now, for 
all his comradeship, the minister was 
a disciplinarian. Many a time Paul 
was smuggled in at the back door by 
'Ziah, sponged off and put to rights 
before proceeding farther. 'Ziah 
always had a bit of raw beefsteak in 
readiness. 

Perhaps the minister was not al- 
ways deceived, but doubtless he some- 
times felt a sneaking gratitude 
toward 'Ziah. But there were times 
when there was no winking at the fla- 
grancy of Paul's disobedience. There 
were dark half hours when Paul was 
closeted with his father in the study. 
On these occasions the twins took the 
noisiest of baths, but Polly Pat and 
Annette sat on the stairs with their 
arms tight around each other. When 
the study door was opened Polly Pat 
rushed down to comfort — ^not Paul — 



Two Fights 107 

but the one that needed it — Cap- 
tain. 

If any small urchin had spoken to 
Paul questioning the justice of his 
father's seeking to restrain him in the 
use of his fists, it is probable that Paul 
would have pummelled the speaker to 
the bitter finish, yet Paul's acquies- 
cence in his father's decrees was ren- 
dered unsubstantial by the fact that 
his hero next in eminence to Cap him- 
self was Jack Smasher. 

It had seemed to the rector the 
more he knew of John Noble — ^he had 
little opportunity to judge at first 
hand, for in some way the factory 
foreman always eluded his efforts 
toward acquaintance — ^that the man 
had a mind above mere rowdyism. 
Even Charles Farwell acknowledged 
Noble's efiiciency, trustworthiness, 
executive ability as workman and 
foreman. All Forrestdale but the 
Farwells attributed the success of the 
factories to John Noble. 



io8 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh 

How was it, then, that Jack 
Smasher's name came to be more and 
more connected with the growing 
lawlessness and rowdyism manifest- 
ing itself now in once orderly For- 
restdale? It almost seemed during 
that January as if in the hush pre- 
ceding the locking of the final fight, 
Jack Smasher was relieving hioaself 
by a boyish indulgence in the pleas- 
ure of fisticuffs. Still, his example 
was no good one for the roughs of 
the town, and Forrestdale boasted a 
corps of just three policemen. 

The rector was discussing the mat- 
ter one day with Polly Pat. It was 
a January Saturday afternooft, 
clear, cold, snowless. The rector was 
leaning far back in his revolving 
chair. Polly Pat was sitting on his 
desk, her favourite seat. There was 
one little drawer all dented by Polly 
Pat's heels. 

"Why don't you stop it, then, 
Cap? "asked Polly Pat. 



Two Fights 1 09 






I? I'm not a policeman." 
You make Jack Noble stop and 
he'll make the rest stop." 

" How am I to make Jack Noble 
stop?" He viewed Polly Pat with 
eyes still troubled, but also quizzical. 

" Just go and tell him to stop," re- 
peated Polly Pat with emphasis. 

" IVe never been able to get hold 
of him, never spoken to him— it's 
rushing in " 

"Grol" cried Polly Pat, jumping 
down. " Gro right now. It's Satur- 
day afternoon and he has the time 
off. Here's your coat." 

The rector found only Mrs. Noble 
at home ; he had never found her hus- 
band in, though he had more than 
once surmised his presence behind 
closed doors. Mrs. Noble's manner 
had ever been apathetic, apologetic, 
reticent. The rector felt that he 
made little headway in getting ac- 
quainted with the Nobles. But to- 
day Mrs. Noble as she welcomed him 



iio Polly Pat's Parish 

poured out her heart in anxious 
appeal. 

"Oh, sir, I'm glad to see you. 
Seems though I couldn't stand it 
much longer sitting here alone. No, 
sir, he ain't at home. He's gone, and 
took Tim. I don't dare go after 
them. John don't mean had, he ain't 
never hurt Tim had, but I ain't never 
quite sure when he takes him off. He 
ain't right fond of Tim. Maybe if 
you'd speak to him — ^he thinks the 
world and all of you." 

" Of me? But I don't know him. 
He doesn't know me." 

" I guess he thinks he knows you. 
We all know you all right, sir. I 
guess you might find them back in 
Owen Baker's lot behind Joe Pratt's 
bam. That's where they mostly have 
them. Maybe you could stop it." 

" Stop what? " 

"I don't just know. Maybe I'm 
foolish. I guess I am. But Jack's 
so black about the trouble in the 



Two Fights III 

mills, and he thinks Tim ain't got no 
spirit." 

Joe Pratt's whitewashed ham 
gleamed staring white in broad sun- 
shine. On all other sides Owen Ba- 
ker's brown meadow lot was girt in 
by a high rail fence. Where the un- 
broken barn wall reared itself like a 
great white slab, on an upturned 
wooden bucket sat a stalwart form, 
hands on knees. On the brown sod 
before him stood two small boys, hat- 
less, jacketless, both fists knotted, 
one upraised, waiting. They were 
evenly matched, one small, stocky, 
red-hau-ed, with the jaw of a buU- 
dog; the other taller, lightly built, 
nimble, but his eyes were frightened, 
and there was a whimper on his lips. 
The big man clapped his hands; out 
flew fists. 

" For him, Paul I Under the jaw, 
the way I told you. Wake up, Tim, 
— ^use your fists or wait till I use 
mine." 



112 Polly Pat's Parish 

Over the fence at Jack Smasher's 
right lightly vaulted a black-clad 
form. A gloved hand was laid on 
each boy's collar, and the two were 
deftly jerked apart. The minister 
faced Jack, a fine temper flaming in 
his eyes, on his lips the scorn of a 
man for a bully. 

" Mr. Noble, I believe. I have not 
before had the pleasure of meeting 
you. Excuse my not removing my 
hat. My hands are otherwise occu- 
pied." 

Then he let Tim free, but retained 
his hold of Paul, who had first struck 
out blindly at his captor, and then, 
recognising him, stood quiet as a sol- 
dier or a statue. Slowly the minister 
loosened his grip. Paul picked up 
his coat and shoved himself into it, 
then, with his cap crushed in his 
hands, he turned and at last looked 
his father straight in the eye. 

"What's to pay. Cap?" he asked. 

His father looked at him long and 



3in 


^1 


Vm* 


c 9 




^r 




i : 



"For him. Paul! Wake up, Tilt 



T>:'F KKW YCRir J 




« » r. *, 



..»•*..♦,-. 






Two Fights "3 

keenly. At last he answered, " Noth- 
ing. 

" I meant," explained Paul, " when 
am I to come to the study? I'll be 
there." 

" And I meant that you're not to 
come to the study at all." 

" But you said I mustn't. Cap, and 
IdidI" 

"But I'm never again going to 
say that you mustn't, Paul." 

This father, speaking thus with 
slow decision, was a new father. 
Paul's roimd freckled face was knot- 
ted into one great interrogation. 
Back of his wide grey eyes an active 
young brain struggled to explain a 
new relation between himself and 
Cap. His father's eyes never swerved 
from the puzzled, face. 

"Cap," Paul burst out at last, 
*^how can I fight if you don't whip 
me for it? " 

"I'm never going to whip you 
again, Paul." It was a curious 



1 1 4 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh 

weary tone in which he spoke. Paul, 
the undemonstrative, fell upon him, 
shaking him by the lapels of his 
coat. 

" Oh, Cap, please don't stop whip- 
ping me I" 

" Why not, Paul? '' 

The boy's face was working pain- 
fully. "Because it means — ^you 
won't be the same. Cap." 

Across the strain and sternness of 
the minister's face there quivered the 
sunshine of a smile. He ran his hand 
over Paul's towsled red head. "If 
you change, Paulus, then I'll always 
be the same. Home with you now I " 
he ended sharply. 

Jack Noble's eyes were intense in 
their scrutiny of the rector. Jack 
was absorbed in his dearest pursuit — 
what he called " studying his man." 
He half muttered the result of his 
observations, "New kind of Dad a 
boy'd beg a whipping of. Not much 
like Tim and me," glancing askance 




Two Fights "5 

at the figure that crouched in the 
corner by the fence. But now the 
minister, too, was studying his man, 
and presently Jack, becoming aware 
of this, shufiled up, kicked aside the 
bucket and, with arms folded, stood 
leaning up against the barn, the evil 
spirit that possessed him that after- 
noon gleaming fitfully in his eyes, 
insolent to provoke if possible, and 
yet keen to see whether the man he 
had observed for months would fail 
in the test he would put him to 
now. 

" Well," said Jack Noble at last, 
" youVe caught me square. I might 
say Kke your boy, * What's to pay? ' " 

"Something, by George!" ex- 
ploded the minister. He allowed 
himself indulgence in this assever- 
ation not oftener than once a year, 
but now something in this insolent 
stare was stirring his temper. 

" My wife says you've been trying 
to get hold of me this long while,"' 



1 1 6 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh 

Jack went on. "Would you mind 
telling me why? What have I to do 
with a rich man's parson hke you? ** 

In the sneer meant to test him, how 
could the rector know that Jack be- 
lieved him a poor man's parson? But 
curiously the tone had the effect 
upon him of calming all temper in- 
stantly. Nothing so bitter and per- 
sonal as temper could come in when 
the rector remembered that in For- 
restdale he stood between the Far- 
wells and Factory End. 

The rector was sometimes like his 
daughter in directness. " I'm no rich 
man's parson, Noble, and I wanted 
to see you to find out if between us 
we couldn't do something to stop this 
trouble that's coming, they say — ^the 
strike." 

John Noble's face turned black, 
but in that blackness all of the mere 
brutal bully passed away. 

"'They say,' is right this time. 
The strike is coming. No, you and 




Two Fights 117 

me between us couldn't stop it. No- 
body could stop it but them, the Far- 
wells, Job and that hound, Charles." 

The minister offered no protest, 
waited. 

" IVe done a man's work, twenty 
men's work, for 'em for ten years. 
Every man of us is American over 
yonder and we know our business. 
All we want's a man's pay and a 
man's day. Will they give it to us? 
Not them! We've made their fac- 
tories for 'em. Instead of us they'll 
put in a lot of dirty dagoes taught 
their trade over in the Italian silk 
mills. Charles, he'll get 'em here." 

"I believe he will," assented the 
minister. "Tell me, Noble, what 
good will that do you? " 

"I can find plenty to do — other 
places," answered Jack. 

" But the rest of them, the others 

over in Factory End? " . 

" It'll be best for them in the long 
run, too." 




1 1 8 Pol ly Paf s Par ish 

"To be turned out of home and 
work? I don't just see that myself/' 

"Oh," growled Jack, '^you're on 
their side." 

"Whose?" 

"Farwells'I** 

" Noble, do you believe that? " 

Jack's eyes dropped, shifted — ^he 
could not face that direct gaze. He 
shuffled from one foot to the other, 
then spoke out with level eyes because 
he must trust this man. "It all 
comes to this in the end. Every 
man's for himself, Job Farwell, 
Charles — ^me — ^you." 

"I?" 

"Didn't old Job make it worth 
your while to come to me? " Jack's 
eyes narrowed to a slit. The minister 
sprang back, his fist involuntarily 
knotted. "Didn't he send you?" 
hissed Jack. 

"No!" 

"Who did?" 

" My daughter." 



Two Fights 119 

"Didn't you come to beg me to 
give in to the Farwells? " 

"No!" 

"What did you come for?" 

" To ask you to stop fighting and 
to keep Factory End from fighting. 
Talk of your being a freeborn 
American citizen while you're mak- 
ing Forrestdale a town of roughs 
and rowdyism!" 

Still testing him. Noble sneered: 
"Parson's talk. Fighting's good 
for a fellow. You white-handed 
preachers are against fighting be- 
cause you can't." 

The minister smiled. He was 
genuinely amused, but the smile 
Jack thought meant contempt, the 
fine gentleman's superiority. He 
had his man in a corner now. He 
would try him to the uttermost. In 
months of bitterness he had watched 
him, hoping this man was true when 
all others were self-interested. He 
had proved to himself that the par- 



I20 Polly Pat's Parish 

son was not Job Farwell's tool. One 
other thing remained. Could he 
fight, this trim, clerical gentleman? 
In Jack's curiously compounded 
character one-third was pure bully, 
the other two-thirds were better 
things. All the fall he had strug- 
gled to down a slowly growing hero 
worship for the man he was now try- 
ing his best to insult. It seemed to 
Jack Noble that he could almost 
give up fighting for the sake of this 
man, provided, and only provided, 
the minister would show that he could 
fight. There would be some force in 
an argument against fists from a 
man who knew how to use his, yet 
would not. 

With a new purpose in his eye. 
Jack Noble faced the minister. There 
was only one thing that would make 
him fight, he was sure of that. He 
spoke now with indifi^erence, as if 
their conference were becoming irk- 
some to him. "We ain't hkely to 



Two Fights 121 

agree on the subject of fists, I guess, 
nor on anything else, perhaps. If 
youVe nothing more to say, I'll be 
attending to a piece of my own busi- 
ness. Here, Tim!" 

Hugging the side of the barn, 
Tim shuffled up, fear in every line of 
his cowermg Uttle body. 

" What did I teU you I'd do to 
you if ever you cried in a fight again? 
Now I'm a-goin' to do it ! " And one 
great hand caught Tim's collar. 
Tim's face went white but the minis- 
ter's lips were whiter. 

" Stop ! " His voice rang out. 

"Stop? For you?" 

Now beneath the minister's black 
clerical dress there rippled the mus- 
cles of a Yale athlete. 

" Stop I " he repeated, quite low 
this time. 

"I ain't afraid of youl" goaded 
Jack, a great joy in his eyes, one 
heavy fist raised above Tim's back. 

The minister whipped ofi^ his coat. 



VII 

THE PEICE OF A MAN 

SILENT, apprehensive, For- 
restdale waited for the first 
of March. All was quiet in 
Factory End now, no longer 
any rumor of fisticufi^s and lawless- 
ness, for John Noble had kept a cer- 
tain promise. The promise had never 
been spoken, for he was one who 
made promises to no man but him- 
self. 

The slight hoUows were deepening 
at the rector's temples while he, too, 
waited for that ominous first of 
March. Meanwhile he preached 
fearlessly, and bolder words each 
Sunday. The rector was not politic; 
none of the Everitts were. He faced 
Old Forrestdale in the front pews 
and the fringe of Factory Enders 
about the doors, both with intense, 
unswerving eyes as he spoke on this 

122 



:^^JHi 



The Price of a Man 123 

mid-February Sunday morning. It 
was -only the old impractical dream 
of all Grod's seers, the brotherhood of 
all men, the principle applied now 
and here — of all impossibilities — to 
capital and labour I It appeared that 
the rich man needed the poor man, 
the poor man needed the rich man, 
and only by the welding together in 
mutual helpfulness of all our sharply 
sundered classes could the world's 
progress be accomplished. 

The light from beyond the veil was 
on the minister's face; the burning 
words came : " Oh, my people, man's 
divinest right is to love his fellow- 
man. When the rich man so scorns 
the poor man, when the poor man so 
envies the rich man that each kills in 
his own heart and in the heart of his 
fellow all brotherly love, then do both 
rich and poor alike but echo the cry 
of the first murderer, *Am I my 
brother's keeper?' My brethren, let 
it not befal us here in Forrestdale 
that there be branded on our fore- 



1 24 Po lly Pat's Pa rish 

heads the curse of Cain! " Then, his 
eyes still burning bright, he half 
stretched out yearning hands to 
them, then turned instead and gave 
the ascription. There is strange 
magnetism in the words of a man 
from whom all self has dropped 
away — ^impractical, impossible, of 
course, and yet here, at least, was one 
who believed every man his brother; 
also, if one stopped to think of it, 
kinship with such a man would mean 
that one would have to square one's 
back and walk straight, shouldering 
no meanness. 

Charles Farwell fingered the 
leaves of his Prayer Book uneasily 
during the sermon, never looking up, 
but the Judge faced the minister with 
level eyes, and far back in the church 
another pair of eyes, sullen, heavy- 
lidded, never wavered from the 
preacher's face. It was character- 
istic of Mr. Everitt's sermons that 
you always thought yourself harder 
hit than your neighbour. The Judge 



The Price of a Man 125 

rose to take up the collection, his pur- 
poses shaken for the moment Mdth 
a perhaps. He was thinking, and 
passed the plate absent and unseeing 
until suddenly he felt an intent gaze 
upon him, and raised his eyes to look 
straight into those of John Noble, 
searching, questioning. Noble in 
church! It was imheard of! The 
Judge half drew back the plate, then 
extended it to receive Jack Noble's 
dime, but the gesture of repugnance 
had been perceptible. Both faces 
were hard as the Judge passed on 
down the aisle. 

Service over, Charles Farwell and 
his father climbed into the runabout. 
The bob-tailed sorrel mare took the 
road with fleet hoofs in response to 
the little needle-like flicks of the 
whip with which Charles, being out 
of sorts, nipped her flank. 

" Take the turn around by Farley 
Creek before dinner?" suggested 
Charles. 

" All right," responded the Judge. 



126 Polly Pat's Parish 

A sweep of clean macadam, swif t- 
pomiding hoofs, flooding noon 
smishine — at length Charles broke 
silence. 

"That man's dangerous." 

"Which man?" 

"Everitt." The curtness of the 
epithet was mipleasant to the Judge's 
ear. 

" He's sincere." 

" Therefore more dangerous. 
About the riskiest commodity in the 
market — sincerity, mistaken zeal." 

"Mistaken?" 

Charles Farwell turned and looked 
at his father with piercing gaze, re- 
straining an explosive interjection of 
surprise. 

"How otherwise?" he asked 
quietly, then waited several moments 
before he pressed on, carefully sub- 
duing all warmth: 

"A sermon like that only 
strengthens Factory End to fight us. 
Capital and labour are brothers and 
equals, are they? That parson would 



The Price of a Man 127 

have us give Jack Noble the rein, 
would he 3 So that Noble might 
drive us as we're driving Susettel" 
For emphasis a particularly vicious 
flip of the lash made poor Susette 
rear on two feet while the Judge 
gave a grunt of remonstrance at 
being so jolted. 

"No, that man must be sup- 
pressed!" snapped Charles. 

"Noble?" 

" Our rector, with his fine incen- 
diary sermons ! " 

The Judge was still curiously 
silent. Charles eyed him with side- 
long glances. " Infected 1" he mut- 
tered. 

"Eh? What's that?" asked the 
Judge. 

"You don't mean me to beheve 
that such charlatan eloquence has af- 
fected you, father? " 

" Keep your whip ofi^ that horse, 
can't you? It's no question of elo- 
quence, but I have been thinking 
that perhaps a possible amicable set- 



1 2 8 Po lly Pat^s Pa rish 

tling with Noble would be best for 
us all in the long run." 

"Amicable! Noble! How long 
have we known Noble? Is he the 
man to be satisfied with one conces- 
sion, or Mdth a dozen? Noble will be 
for nothing or for everything. This 
spring's fight means our success or 
our failure — ^it's your will or Noble's 
and you know it!" Then, after a 
pause he turned square about. " You 
do know it, don't you, father?" he 
repeated. "Remember you have 
hardly the right to risk the rest of 
us. The firm is Farwell and Far- 
well." 

"I suppose it's impractical," 
conceded the Judge reluctantly, 
" but " 

"Of course it's impractical. Be- 
sides, I'm your partner and I agree 
to nothing but fighting to the end." 
Then a smile of boyish good humour 
broke the cynicism of his face, for 
Charles Farwell was honestly fond 
of his father. "Remember, Dad, 



The Price of a Man 129 

FarweU and FarweU have got 
on pretty smoothly for thirty-five 
years." 

An answering smile softened the 
Judge's face and Charles knew that 
he had won. 

"Now/' he said boyishly and 
cheerfully, " IVe a scheme of my 
own to propose. Want to hear it? " 

" Go ahead." 

"YouVe heard of the extraordi- 
nary hold the rector has over Noble 
— something recent but really most 
remarkable. They say Jack's given 
up fighting and keeps Factory End 
as orderly as a cemetery, all on ac- 
count of Parson Everitt. The min- 
ister is a hero without a peer in Fac- 
tory End, can do what he pleases 
with all of them. That sort of man 
always takes with that sort of men. 
I propose we get hold of Noble by 
getting hold of his hero, and so let 
the minister manage Noble for us." 

"How shall we get hold of the 
minister? " 

"Buy him!" 



130 Polly Pat's Parish 

The Judge threw back his head and 
laughed out a mighty roar that rang 
across the wintry fields. 

" Charles, you're a fool," he said, 
genially, wiping his eyes. 

Charles controlled his irritation 
and answered doggedly, "Every 
man has his price." 

"Then the Reverend Brewster 
Everitt is an exception." 

"Prove it!" challenged Charles. 

" How? " 

"Try him!" 

" II What would he think if " 

"Afraid, Dad?" asked Charles. 

The Judge hesitated. 

"Prove it!" snapped Charles. 
" Prove it to me. Prove it," his eyes 
narrowed ; " prove it to yourself." 

"I will!" 

" Good I As to the price, I admit 
their prices difi^er, but men don't. 
You can buy Everitt; but the price 
is— his children." 

"What do you mean?" The 
Judge's tone was not pleasant. 



The Price of a Man 131 

"He's poor, isn't he? How far 
does twelve hundred a year go 
among that household? How is he 
going to educate them? Is there 
anything a man like that would want 
more than the education of his chil- 
dren? Try him there. If he'll per- 
suade Noble to give in, offer him a 
round sum to educate the whole 
brood, the best America and Europe 
can do for them all, from that im- 
pudent eldest girl to the smallest one, 
all five." 

"Do you think he wiU?" 

"Of course — every man has his 
price— never knew it to fail. If he 
hesitates, tell him it will be best for 
Noble to avoid a row with us, best 
for all his beloved Factory Enders. 
Don't be afraid to appeal to his phil- 
anthropy — ^that's part of the price, 
his price." 

" I don't believe it," said the Judge 
slowly and firmly. 

"Try it and see! It's worth try- 
ing, isn't it?" 



i 3 2 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish 

" Yes," acquiesced the Judge, " I 
suppose it is." 

Monday is the minister's day of 
rest, therefore Monday was a day be- 
loved of the Everitts. It was always 
closed by a pillow fight, waging 
wildly from eight to half past. The 
Everitts divided themselves into two 
parties for the occasion. Captain and 
Polly Pat being one and the Foiu*- 
in-hand the other. They kept score 
from week to week and the reward 
of the victors of the previous week 
was that they should hold the more 
difficult and therefore the more 
glorious position, namely, the lower 
front hall, while stairs and upper 
hall were possessed by the vanquished 
in the last encounter. It was one of 
'Ziah's curious whims that the white 
pillow cases be removed before the 
fray; over the fight itself she as- 
sumed no control, since the rector 
himself was chief participant. 

Amid the great bellowing and 
shrieking of onslaught, the ring at 



The Price of a Man 133 

the front door bell was with difficulty 
heard, and not until it had been 
twice repeated. When it was heard 
there arose a groan distinctly audi- 
ble to the visitor outside — "Com- 
pany!'' A towsled and flushed 
Polly Pat opened the door and ush- 
ered in Judge Farwell. The battle 
arrested stood with pillows still 
poised in air. The rector, hastily 
smoothing his hair, stepped forward 
with extended hand. Suddenly the 
twins broke forth in protest, deliver- 
ing themselves in rapid antiphonal 
sentences. 

" It's Monday and there's still ten 
minutes." 

"Judge Farwell, say, won't you 
play, too?" 

" We'U get you a pillow." 

** Just you wait." 

"We can beat all three of you 
down there." 

The invitation was unexpected and 
alluring. The Judge laughed and 
complied. Poor Judge, the Four-in- 



134 Polly Pat's Parish 

hand utterly neglected their father 
and sister and with undesirable par- 
tiality devoted their entire energy 
to him. He was towsled and red 
and panting — and beaten ! — ^when 
the clock rang half -past and the rec- 
tor's voice cried, " Halt ! Victory 
to the Four-in-hand. Close ranks. 
Right about face, bed!" But first 
the Four-in-hand stormed downstairs 
and fell upon their father, ferocious 
as bears about to devour, but this was 
merely their good-night to him. 
Under cover of their racket Polly 
Pat turned a sweet, anxious face 
upon the Judge. " I hope it isn't 
anything to worry Cap," she said. 
"Is it? Must you?" 

The Judge had no chance to reply, 
for the Four-in-hand, flown to the 
top stair, were shouting: "What's 
the matter with Cap?" 

Both Polly Pat's rich, ringing 
tones and the Judge's resonant bass 
joined in the shrill response, "He's 
all right!" 




The Price of a M an 135 

"And now," said the rector, smil- 
ing, " will you step into the study? " 

The Judge found it extremely 
hard to begin. The rector sat silent, 
regarding the Judge with frank, ex- 
pectant boyish face, making no pre- 
tence that he thought this any merely 
social call. The Judge, on his side, 
was not one to play with prelimi- 
naries. He left off regarding his 
boot toe and said : " Mr. Everitt, as 
you know, I'm in a good deal of diffi- 
culty at present. IVe come to you 
because I believe you're the only 
man to help me out of it — ^if you 
wiU/' 

"If I will?" repeated the other. 
" I hope I should not hesitate to help 
you in any way in my power." 

" This way is in your power," re- 
plied the Judge, yet hesitatingly and 
with doubtful eyes. He must go on, 
but he hated to be disappointed m a 
man, since he did not often go to the 
trouble of idealising one. 

"In one word, Mr. Everitt," the 



1 3 6 Pol ly Pat^s Pari sh 

Judge rushed ahead, "the name of 
my difficulty is Noble. Other fac- 
tory owners may have other difficul- 
ties, but mine is John Noble and only 
John Noble." Again the Judge 
paused, regarding the rector's face. 
"And now, my dear sir, do you 
understand where you come in? " he 
concluded precipitately. 

"No, I do not," replied Mr. 
Everitt, his sensitive, keen-cut lips a 
trifle parted, his eyes intent but blank 
of comprehension. 

"They say you can do what you 
please with Noble," said the Judge. 

The rector started back, one hand 
half clenched; across the clearness of 
his face there shot a black cloud; he 
understood. The Judge watched this 
sign of the futility of his efforts, joy 
pounding away at his heart. 

Just here there came an insistent 
rat-tat-tatting at the closed door, a 
determined rattling of the knob. 

" It's Annette," remarked one who 
opened, and Annette it was, wearing 



i 






0^ I 







" Jumped upon his lap and knelt there " 



The Price of a Man 137 

her nightly bag, tight girt below the 
knee. Her sturdy bare legs ter- 
minated in immense slippers, for 
Annette always appropriated the 
paternal foot gear. 

"Did you forget. Cap?" she in- 
quired, adding in a brisk, business- 
like tone, "my prayers." 

"Come here," answered Cap 
gently. Annette emerged from the 
slippers and jumped upon his lap 
and knelt there, her little bare toes 
comically curled, eyes screwed tight 
shut. Captain gathered her two 
little fluttering hands into his strong 
brown fist and put the other arm 
about her, his head lowered and eyes 
closed. " I lay me " was briskly gone 
through with. Then " God bless 
Cap and Polly Pat, and Paul, and 
Dunder, and Blitzen, and 'Ziah, 

and " Here Annette opened her 

eyes for a flashing instant, turning 
with a quick, bird-like motion of the 
head, "and Judge, and make An- 
nette Everitt and everybody a good 



138 Pol ly Paf s Pa rish 

girl. That's all. Giood-night. What 
did I do with the slippers? Good- 
night, Mr. Judge.'' 

She was gone before her father 
raised his head and opened his eyes 
once more, eyes now full of a slow 
pain. 

"Would you be willing, Mr. 
Everitt, to listen to a proposition? " 
resumed the Judge. 

" Certainly," repHed the minister, 
wearily, politely. He rested an elbow 
on the desk and lowered his brow 
upon his hand. His face was pre- 
sented to the Judge in profile. 

It was harder to go on now than 
it had been to begin. " Of course," 
the Judge continued, " I did not ex- 
pect you to be willing to give us your 
help with Noble until you had seen 
the question in all its bearings. After 
you listen to me a bit you may see 
matters differently, may possibly 
think that your efforts would be 
worth while, worth your own while at 
least." 



The Price of a Man 139 

The faintest smile touched the rec- 
tor's lips. The Judge noted it, liked 
it, and so pressed harder. " A strike, 
Mr. Everitt, will do Factory End no 
good." 

"That is true," acquiesced the 
rector. 

" Noble can control the strike and 
Factory End." 

" Then you are determined to 
grant no concessions?" asked Mr. 
Everitt, turning sharply on the 
Judge. 

" None. To grant one would be to 
pave the way for more. I imder- 
stand business^ — and John Noble — 
pardon me, Mr. Everitt — as a cler- 
gyman cannot." 

"That is perfectly true," again 
the rector acquiesced, drily. 

"Your influence with Noble and 
Factory End would thus save the 
poorer members of your congrega- 
tion much unnecessary suffering. I 
need not say what such service on 
your part would mean to us." 



I40 Po lly Pat's Pari sh 

" That is quite unnecessary," said 
the other. 

" And now as to what such service 
would mean to you, yourself." 

" To me? " The tone was one of 
genuine bewilderment. 

" I pay my way," said the Judge 
gruffly, " and ask no favors I do not 
return." 

The rector swung about suddenly 
in his revolving chair and regarded 
the Judge. " He won't, he won't, he 
won't ! " — ^thought the Judge, his con- 
viction cheering him on to the test. 

"Mr. Everitt, answer me one 
question: Will your salary suffice 
for the education of your children? " 

" No." 

" How do you propose to educate 
them? " 

" I don't know." 

" You will grant that every father 
owes his children an education, the 
best at his command." 
Yes." 
The best education for your 







The Price of a Man 141 

children is at your command, Mr. 
Everitt, the best money can buy in 
America $ind in Europe, for each of 
the five. I promise it." 

Mr. Everitt's eyes as they pierced 
the Judge's were inscrutable. Was 
he hesitating? 

" All you have to do in return is to 
persuade Noble to a course that is 
really the best thing for himself as 
well as the best for us, the best for 
you, and the best, as I've just sought 
to demonstrate, for your children." 

The minister's eyes never wavered 
from their study of the Judge's face. 
Your daughter," said the Judge ; 
think what a college education 
would mean to her, and European 
travel." 

" I am thinking," answered Polly 
Pat's father. He was silent several 
minutes, as was also the Judge. 

" For her sake, then, you will," 
suggested the Judge. 

White with rage the minister 
leaped to his feet. " For her sake I 






142 Polly Pat's Parish 

will wot/^ he thundered ; " for her 
sake I wiU live, God helping me, an 
honest man to the end." 

In the Judge's heart was joy, the 
same joy John Noble had felt one 
still January afternoon. Both had 
tried a test, both had found their 
man true. But the Judge winced at 
the rector's white scorn. 

"That any man should dare to 

bribe " but Polly Pat had rushed 

in, braids flying, had laid an insistent 
hand on the Judge's arm, had swept 
him all bewildered out of the door, 
only flinging back to her father. 
" Never mind. Cap, there's somebody 
else to see you," adding to the Judge, 
" Please hurry." He was out of the 
front door before he had time to 
think. Then PoUy Pat explained 
breathlessly: 

" I hope you'll excuse my hustling 
you out this way. I beg your par- 
don, I truly do, but I had to, you 
know. John Noble was there, and I 
thought you'd better not meet." 



The Price of a Man 143 

Was it a sudden jealousy that 
darkened the Judge's face ? 

" Jack Noble," he queried of Polly- 
Pat; "to see your father?" 

" Yes." 

" What for? " 

"I don't know," answered Polly 
Pat. "You have excused me, 
haven't you? Good-night." 

Something exploded on the 
Judge's lips and his face was black as 
he whistled to his coachman. 

John Noble shuflBed into the rec- 
tor's study. On the eve of the first 
of March he had come to see the one 
man in Forrestdale whom he be- 
lieved disinterested. 

" I came in by the back door," he 
explained, " seeing a carriage at the 
front." 

" Yes," said Mr. Everitt, " Judge 
Farwell's carriage." 

"Come to see you?" questioned 
Jack. 

" Yes," said the rector with frank 
eyes. 



VIII 

FAEWELL OE FACTOKY END? 

THE first of March had 
come and gone, and it was 
ahnost with a sense of re- 
lief that all Forrestdale 
settled down to the fact of the strike. 
It had seemed curiously silent at first 
without the factory whistles. Grown 
accustomed to that morning call to 
rise and work, Forrestdale found it- 
self waking restlessly and straining 
ears for sounds that never came. 

At first Factory End had felt 
quite in a holiday himaour with its un- 
accustomed idleness, but such humour 
lasted but a few days. Always un- 
derpaid. Factory End foimd itself 
ill prepared for the emergency of a 
strike, however long foreseen. The 
very inadequacy of wages, by reason 

144 




Farwell or Factory End? 145 

of which they were striking, made 
even a brief suspension of work a 
grim and daring fight. SuUen- 
browed men were seen in little 
groups at street comers. Women's 
faces beneath their shawls grew 
pinched with worry, for there were 
a great many little mouths to fill in 
Factory End. And the issue of the 
Judge's obstinacy who could fore- 
tell? The memory of the way they 
had worked for him and of the way 
in which he had tossed their demands 
back in their teeth was galling. 
Four weeks went by, and the crowds 
at street corners grew thicker, brows 
blacker, and muttered words more 
threatening, but yet all was orderly 
still in Factory End, and law-abid- 
ing. 

There was no effort made by the 
Farwells to bring in foreign work- 
men, although such effort on their 
part was excitedly surmised in Fac- 
tory End. To Farwell & Farwell, 



146 Polly Pat's Parish 

especially to Farwell Junior, it 
seemed probable that it would not be 
long before Factory End, remote 
from example of other strikes as 
Forrestdale was, would soon give in. 

It was in these days of tension 
that Polly Pat's round face came to 
reflect some of the strain of her 
father's. It was in these days, too, 
that 'Ziah and Polly Pat relented 
somewhat toward each other; for it 
hardly seemed worth while to quar- 
rel too fiercely over the housekeeping 
in the presence of a much greater 
crisis. 

To tell the truth, 'Ziah always 
took a grim pleasure in any fight, 
and now, when dull Forrestdale was 
stirred by such dramatic excitement, 
she had to have someone to talk to. 
Blackening the range one morning 
with a sinewy arm, she talked to 
wide-eyed Polly Pat, seated, with el- 
bows on the kitchen table. " This 
trouble's been brewing for years — 



Farwell or Factory End? 147 

years. We all started even in this town 
fifty years back, Farwells and No- 
bles, Newmans and Eastons, but since, 
some has gone up and some has gone 
down, till there's one lot up there on 
the hill and another down yonder in 
Factory End — as was never meant 
there should be. Farwells had the 
money, so up they go. They hold on 
to the money, too, while other folks 
works for it. Where'd Farwells be 
if it hadn't been for Jack? He made 
their factories for 'em, and he can 
spoil 'em for 'em, too, if they're goin' 
to be so high and mighty. They say 
the Judge ain't nearly so bad, tho' 
bad enough, but that dirty little son 
of his, the Judge lets him lead him 
by the nose. You'd oughter hear 
folks talk about Charlie Farwell! 

"Don't know what we're coming 
to. One thing I do know. Thipgs 
would be lots worse in Factory End 
if it wasn't for your Pa. He's 
against rows, so there'll be none so 



1 48 Pol ly Pat^s Pari sh 

long as Jack can hold 'em in. Don't 
know how long that'll be. Jack, he 
thinks as much of your Pa as Tim 
does of you." 

Such conversations with 'Ziah were 
none too reassuring to Polly Pat's 
overwrought little soul. It was 
more restful than ever before to sink 
on the little footstool at Miss Ali- 
son's knee in Miss Alison's library. 
Miss Alison, looking down into the 
upturned face where new shadows 
were deepening the wide child eyes, 
felt afresh her impatience against 
Factory End. It was strange how 
Miss Alison resented all that must 
inevitably make Polly Pat a grown- 
up. Miss Alison's impatience spoke 
in her words one afternoon: 

" Try not to mind too much, 
dearie," she said, patting the heavy 
bronze braids. She wished Polly Pat 
might have grown up in the Forrest- 
dale of her own youth, with only pla- 
cid memories of a gentle old town to 



Farwell or Factory End? 149 

remember out of her girlhood. " It 
will all straighten out again some 
day. We shall all settle down and 
find ourselves again, and it will all be 
as it used to be in Forrestdale." She 
spoke with a hope she did not alto- 
gether feel. 

" Was everything all right in For- 
restdale then? " asked Polly Pat. 

" Yes, dear; before there were any 
factories, we were able to do more 
for our poor than their own pride has 
ever allowed us to do for them since." 

But Polly Pat was thinking hard, 
her whole face knotted in genuine 
puzzlement. 

"Would Captain have liked the 
parish that way, do you think? " she 
asked ; she did not know that she was 
challenging the very spirit of Old 
Forrestdale. Polly Pat had a way 
of asking heart-searching questions 
most unconsciously. It was a very 
long time before Miss Alison an- 
swered. 



150 Polly Pat's Parish 

" I am not quite sure with just his 
views that he would." 

" Then it couldn't have been all 
right," said Polly Pat. 

" We were a great deal happier and 
more comfortable, at any rate," said 
Miss Alison, more to herself than to 
her listener. 

"It wasn't quite being friends, 
though, was it? " 

"Being friends?" queried Miss 
Alison. 

"I mean," explained Polly Pat, 
"being friends with the Nobles and 
the Newmans and all of them? " 

"No, I don't think it was," con- 
fessed Miss Alison. 

"But that's just what Captain 
wants the parish to be — friends. 
Don't you suppose he can do it? " 

Such an earnest face upturned m 
question, such a young little facel 
What could one do but place one's 
two hands about it and kiss it? For 
response Polly Pat slipped from her 



Farwell or Factory End? 151 

stool, and kneeling with her cheek to 
Miss Alison's shoulder, whispered: 
" Captain said to me once that the 
factories would be perfectly splendid 
if only Judge Farwell and Jack 
Noble were friends, willing to do 
things for each other, and that the 
church would be perfectly splendid, 
too, if only Old Forrestdale and 
Factory End would be friends." A 
pause in which Polly Pat's eyes stud- 
ied the leaping fire-flame, and then 
turned full-shining to Miss Ahson. 
"You see, this is about the biggest 
trouble Cap and I ever had, this 
parish," she went on; "you see, I 
haven't ever had enough troubles to 
be quite sure — ^but they do quite often 
come out all right, don't they? " 

" Yes, gu-Ue." 

"And anyway, you just have to 
make yourself keep on hoping, don't 
you? But, of course, the hardest 
thing for me is that it's so awfully 
hard on Cap." 



1 5 2 Po lly Pat's Pa rish 

"That is why you must make 
yourself keep on hoping, for his 
sake," said Miss Alison gently. 

"Oh, won't it be lovely when 
everything is all right again? " cried 
Polly Pat, her face breaking from 
worry into the radiant Everitt smile. 
To those who came to know them 
well, that smile, flashing across wide, 
sorrow-shadowed eyes, came to be 
very characteristic of Polly Pat arid 
her father. It stayed in Miss Alison's 
mind long after Polly Pat had sped 
home, for some of the things Polly 
Pat had said kept her looking into 
the fire and thinking long that after- 
noon. Would everything be "all 
right again," she wondered, and 
right, not in the old way, but in this 
new impractical way of the minis- 
ter's? Well, she thought to herself, 
with a quizzical bit of a smile, if these 
Everitts had done nothing else, they 
had certainly set Forrestdale to 
thinking. 



Farwell or Factory End? 153 

If Alison Farwell could sit in her 
library and think calmly of the issues 
at hand, such impersonal detachment 
was not easy for some others in For- 
restdale. Every day Judge Farwell 
drove to his locked and empty facto- 
ries and himself went through them, 
all the five red brick buildings, every 
room of them, and then drove off 
again, not noting by so much as the 
lifting or lowering of an eyelid the 
ominous knots of idlers who sullenly 
observed his grim brigadier figure. 

Charles Farwell had never for- 
given the rector his incorruptibihty, 
and still less had he forgiven a subtle 
influence he believed the rector to ex- 
ert over his father. True, the Judge 
was bowing in all the factory busi- 
ness to his son's superior astuteness, 
but while he no longer lingered after 
service, he still attended church as 
regularly as did John Noble, and he, 
furthermore, insisted on the contin- 
ued presence in the family pew of all 



154 Polly Pat's Parish 

the ladles of the Farwell household. 
There had been some domestic bick- 
ering on the subject, but here 
the Judge's will had outweighed 
Charles's. Charles had to be content 
with absenting himself and with free 
discussion in the homes of his For- 
restdale friends of the rector's atti- 
tude toward Factory End. 

Now, be it remembered, for some 
years, just as the name of Farwell 
& Farwell had represented the 
factories, so had it represented the 
oflSce of warden ifi Calvary Church. 
The rector was not surprised, how- 
ever much saddened, by receiving one 
afternoon notice from the clerk of 
the vestry that Charles Farwell had 
resigned the position of junior war- 
den. The Captain was fagged with 
Lenten services and long strain; he 
was temporarily, inclined to be a little 
gloomy, wondering if the Judge's 
resignation as senior warden would 
follow, and then those of other ves- 



Farwell or Factory End? 155 

trjmaen. Possibly, the rector re- 
flected grimly, his own resignation 
would be requested to follow the 
withdrawal of the Farwells. He 
could hardly expect to be popular 
with any who had an interest in the 
Farwell factories. For himself, he 
had forgiven the Judge, but he could 
hardly expect the Judge to forgive 
him. At any rate, there was a gloomy 
enough Easter in prospect. 

But, in reality, Mr. Everitt's dis- 
couragement carried him far afield. 
If Factory End turned to him as the 
one friend they could trust, with 
quite as warm affection did Old For- 
restdale regret those sharp lines of 
worry at their rector's lips and tem- 
ples. Despite Charles Farwell's dis- 
affection, never had Lenten services 
been so largely attended, never had 
collections been so generous, never 
had the Sunday-school been so popu- 
lar, or its pupils practised their Easter 
carols with such heartiness. 



156 Polly Pat's Parish 

As for the Ladies' Guild, both in 
the rectory and out of it, it fairly 
buzzed with activity. It had plenty 
of money at its command, too, the 
Judge saw to that, stipulating only 
that the rector should not know 
whence the largest contributions 
came. As to where these contribu- 
tions should go, if the never-to-be- 
spoken secrets of the Judge's soul 
had been known, it would have been 
found that he, as well as the rector, 
wished that they might go to relieve 
some of the women and children of 
Factory End. 

Factory End kept its troubles to 
itself, but yet there were rumors that 
reached Old Forrestdale making its 
comfort uncomfortable. It was a 
bitter March, but Factory End was 
economising in fuel; there was sick- 
ness there, too, and hunger. When 
Factory End came to church it stared 
with dogged, sullen eyes at Old For- 
restdale, forbidding sympathy. It 




Farwell or Factory End? i57 

came to church with sullen motive in- 
deed, meaning that Old Forrestdale 
should never think that Mr. Everitt 
was only the rich man's rector, fiercely 
intent to show those others that he 
belonged to Factory End. Curious 
anomaly of human nature that the 
fact that both parties worshipped 
under one roof, only sundered them 
more sharply when it came to giving 
or receiving help. Factory Enders 
would starve, but they would not be. 
treated as beggars by those who re- 
fused to treat them as men. It was 
most true, what the Judge had once 
said, that church and business were 
pretty well mixed for the Farwells; ^, 
they were pretty well mixed just now' 
in his own conscience. However much 
Old Forrestdale might regret the 
passing of the old ways of helping 
its poor, was it really true now that 
it could help them only by being 
friends with them? 
Busy with many meetings, the La- 



1 5 8 Pol ly Paf s Pari sh 

dies' GuUd surged through the rec- 
tory so that many secrets of the Ev- 
eritts were made known, but to no 
unsympathising friends, for it be- 
came more and more evident to For- 
restdale that the Everitt family 
needed immediate adoption. A gen- 
tier, more subdued Polly Pat had 
grown very appeahng, and as for 
Annette, many a mother longed to 
get hold of the child and dress her as 
other children were dressed. She 
was really very pretty except when 
her parted lips revealed the startling 
isolation of two great front teeth. 
Mrs. Job Farwell, sitting behind the 
Everitt pew in church, found herself 
contrasting Annette's shabby, queer 
little duds with the daintiness of her 
own granddaughters. She was not 
altogether surprised by the revela- 
tion that came to her one early- April 
afternoon. 

The President of the Ladies' Guild 
was bustling out after a protracted 



Farwell or Factory End? i59 

meeting, when her ear— a grand- 
motherly ear, remember, and not 
much more imsympathetic really 
than her husband's — ^was caught 
by a smothered sound from the 
study. Whenever Polly Pat had 
anything particularly hard to do she 
took it to the study; if Captain was 
present, that presence helped; if he 
was away, as on this afternoon, there 
was something comforting about his 
room. 

Mrs. Job Farwell cautiously 
pushed open the door. Spread over 
the study desk was a clutter of sew- 
ing, thread, shears, a great billowy 
mass of brown cashmere, and on top 
of all a red head was bowed ; no sign 
of life but those same smothered 
sounds, and every now and then the 
spasmodic kick of Polly Pat's foot 
twisted about the leg of Captain's 
desk chair. You would not have 
thought pompous Mrs. Farwell could 
have been so readily transformed 



i6o Polly Pat's Parish 

into the cooing, anxious comforter. 
" Dearie, dear, what is it? " she asked, 
laying her hand on Polly Pat's 
shoulder. 

Polly Pat raised a flushed face, re- 
bellious at tears, 

" Clothes are the only thing I ever 
cry about," she said. "I just can't 
sew. It's a dress for Annette," she 
explained, giving a savage shove to 
the brown waves before her. 

It was a new role for Mrs. Job 
Farwell to play grandmother to 
Polly Pat. Together they folded 
away the troublesome sewing and 
Polly Pat's face was bright again 
when Mrs. Farwell drove away, and 
in the latter's mind were several new 
thoughts, and one of them was of di- 
rect appeal to the President of the 
Ladies' Guild. 

Never before had that organisation 
accomplished more in ten brief days, 
perhaps because this work was so 
much more enjoyable than any it had 



Farwell or Factory End? i6i 

ever done. Old Forrestdale had in- 
herited traditions of exquisite needle- 
work, whereas the sewing it had 
always done in years previous fo!r 
Factory End, and this year for the 
Indians, had always been so practical, 
so substantial and so ugly. The lit- 
tle garments they were making now 
were of an exquisite daintiness, and, 
moreover, into every stitch there went 
the love of every woman for a moth- 
erless little girl. 

By Mrs. Farwell's advice, Polly 
Pat had never again taken out the 
brown wool for Annette's dress, but 
the reason of this advice she little 
guessed, until Thursday afternoon 
of the week before Palm Sunday. 
Captain had been called away for the 
afternoon, and would not return 
imtil late in the evening. Polly Pat, 
growing restless in his absence, had 
gone down to Factory End to look 
up some of her absent Sunday-school 
scholars. The reason for their ab- 



1 6 2 Poll y Pat's Par ish 

sence was instantly forthcoming — 
no clothes. 

" We didn't dare buy nothin' new 
this winter before March," explained 
Mrs. Noble, "and we certainly 
couldn't buy nothin' since, and Mat- 
tie's coat sleeves are clean through be- 
yond my mending, and I don't want 
her to go to Sunday-school ragged." 

It was the same story from the 
Newmans — ^no shoes, ragged coats, 
patched and outgrown dresses. Per- 
haps Factory End made the worst of 
its poverty, finding so sympathetic an 
ear. Perhaps all was not so bad as 
Polly Pat believed, but the complain- 
ing of the women, the haunting, 
weary faces of the men, the children 
listening to their mothers with such 
early uncanny comprehension of the 
distress, wrought Polly Pat's excit- 
able soul to the highest pitch. Hurry- 
ing home, she quite forgot that Cap- 
tain was away and that it was 'Ziah's 
afternoon out. The Four-in-hand 



Farwell or Factory End? 163 

flew from the house, hatless, coat- 
less, and fell upon her when she was 
still a block away. 

"Oh, Polly Pat, boxes!'* cried 
Blitzen. 

"Boxes and boxes 1*' exclaimed 
Dunder. 

" Five,'' said Paul. 

"Addressed to you," added An- 
nette. 

The boxes bore signs of much cu- 
rious handling, but had not been 
opened, five great pasteboard boxes, 
which revealed at first only a filmy 
mass of white tissue paper and pink 
ribbon. Each box presented this 
same result, for each of the five had 
appropriated one and was tear- 
ing away with fingers and teeth at 
the knots. " Letter for you in mine," 
announced Paul, handing it over to 
Polly Pat. It was a charming little 
note from Mrs. Easton, secretary of 
the Ladies' Guild, begging " Miss 
Mary " to accept for her little sister 



1 64 Polly Pat's Parish 

the affectionate work of the women 
of her father's parish. 

Garment after garment the Four- 
in-hand lifted aloft, dancing arid 
shouting with approbation. There 
were frocks arid coats and little slip- 
pers and shoes and gloves and stock- 
ings to match, all of softest and finest 
! material, and no less than three beau- 

! tiful hats beside. Annette soon 

i wearied of her sister's and brothers' 

enthusiastic trying on. The boxes 
had been an excitement, but clothes 
did not in the least interest Annette. 
Suddenly Polly Pat sat down, her 
face pale, her mouth and eyes wide, 
that mysterious, far-away look upon 
her face. 

" What is it? " cried BUtzen. 
" Hush, she's having a plan," said 
Paul; "keep quiet." 

Motionless they watched her in- 
\ tently, until she sprang up and began 

j thrusting their contents into the boxes 

? and tying all up again. 



Farwell or Factory End? 165 

"Polly Pat, what is it?'' whis- 
pered Annette, but " After supper,*' 
was all that could be extracted from 
Polly Pat. 

Supper was swiftly disposed of. It 
consisted of bread and milk served 
in bowls on the stationary washtubs. 

" Now? " asked the waiting Four- 
in-hand, agog with curiosity. 

"Put on your things and come,'* 
answered the mystifying elder sister. 

They obeyed. " Now, each a box 
and follow me," she said. Evening 
walks were forbidden; "but I don't 
believe Captain will care if we all five 
go together," Polly Pat assured her 
conscience. 

'Ziah returning at nis^e found an 
open and empty rectory. When the 
five came in a half hour later, obvi- 
ously fiushed and elated, neither 
threats nor entreaty could extract 
from them any account of their 
actions. 



TWO MEN AND THE MINISTER 

IX was a bright Palm Sunday. 
The Ladies^ GuUd sought to 
keep its eyes forward, but yet 
there was a perceptible turning 
toward the middle of the church 
when Polly Pat, holding little An- 
nette's hand, walked up the central 
aisle. But the prophetic thrill of 
pride turned to a chill of dismay — 
Annette on this fair spring Sunday 
wore a short-waisted, outgrown coat 
of some kinky white woollen mate- 
rial, the white much the worse for 
wear, making Annette resemble a 
shabby white polar bear. On her 
curly head was set a once white tam, 
her brown, imgloved hands stretched 
out far from sleeves shrimken back 
before the year's growth of little 
arms. 

The Ladies' Guild looked at each 

i66 



Two Me n and the Mi nister 167 

other, and then tried to look dutifully 
at the processional hjrmn as they 
stood up, but always their eyes went 
back to little Annette, clad in no 
^ glory, but wearing the winter weeds 
that had so long troubled her fa- 
ther's women parishioners. Well, the 
Ladies' Guild must wait for an ex- 
planation at least until after service. 
They got it then with a shock. The 
Everitts sat well in front and were 
late in getting out after service. The 
Ladies' Guild was in the vestibule 
and overflowing out upon the pave- 
ment. Sunday school came at once 
after church. Little folk of Old For- 
restdale and of Factory End, in 
sharply separated groups of course, 
were wont to assemble at the churcK 
door, impeding the progress of an 
out-going congregation. It was just 
here, and just now,' that the Ladies' 
Guild saw and understood. 

Mattie Noble blossomed radiant in 
a little box coat of tan topped by a 



1 68 P olly Paf s Pa rish 

I white leghorn hat wreathed with 

apple blossoms. Four-year-old Ted 

! Newman pranced about on new and 

shiny patent leather feet. His elder 
sister, proudly disregarding any 

j wrap, pirouetted about in a little 

white wool dress embroidered in ex- 
quisite design. Another coat of soft 
baby blue ornamented the square 
shoulders of Rosa Ellis. Look where 
they would, the Ladies' Guild beheld 
Factory End flowering gaily in the 
damty garments made with such lov- 
ing devotion for Annette Everitt. 

Now, Factory End mothers com- 
ing out of church were wont to linger 
to look over their offspring about to 
enter Sunday school, to shake out the 
frizzes of the small girls, and slick 
down the locks of small boys. To- 
day mothers gazed proudly at their 
resplendent little folks, but yet with 
a return of misgiving and a dread of 
they didn't know what, now that the 
youngsters stood thus prominently 



(I 



Two Men and the Minister 1 69 

under the unfriendly eye of Old 
Forrestdale. 

Mrs. Newman, 'Ziah Smithwick, 
arid Mrs. Noble stood talking to- 
gether, *Ziah eyeing her young niece 
with sharply curious eyes. Mrs. No- 
ble had not dared to tell 'Ziah of 
Polly Pat's sudden descent with mys- 
terious and beautiful gifts. Mrs. 
Newman and Mrs. Noble shrank 
back suddenly against the cold stone 
wall at a voice that rang out, drown- 
ing all other voices — ^Mrs. Easton's — 
singling out Mattie Noble to stand 
forth: " Where did you get that coat 
and hat? " 

"Miss Mary Everitt, she gave 
them to us," answered Mattie in none 
too mild a tone. 

At Mrs. Easton's back pressed 
Mrs. Job Farwell and Miss Alison. 
Sharp-tempered Mrs. Easton cer- 
tainly voiced the sentiments of all the 
Guild when she continued to Mattie: 

"Well, you may just give them 



170 Polly Pat's Parish 

straight back to her; they belong to 
her sister. We gave them to her." 

In a flash 'Ziah understood. She 
flung herself forward: 

" Annette's 1 Then she shall have 
theml" 

Mrs. Noble was shy; it was hard 
for her to speak, yet she had her own 
Tim's bravery, for Tim was brave, 
though no one knew it. Her little 
face was working, scarlet spots were 
on her thin cheeks. 

" We'll give 'em back; we're ready. 
We mistrusted there was something 
wrong all along, but when she came 
with her eyes all shiny and the coat in 
her hand, and tries it on Mattie and 
catches her up and kisses her — ^why, 
ma'am " — she spoke to Mrs. Farwell 
— " how could we ask her where she 
got 'em? We mistrusted, but yet 
what was we to do? * Wear 'em next 
Sunday,' she says. Oh, ma'am, how 
was we to hurt her feelings? What 
is it you want we should do? " 

Then, of a sudden, the hardness 



Two Men and the Minister 171 

went out of all faces, those of Fac- 
tory End mothers and those of the 
Ladies' Guild. It seemed that they 
understood each other, and behold, 
they had something in common — ^a 
problem, for what were they to do? 
And to one coming upon the whole 
group suddenly, they really appeared 
at the moment to be talking together 
as if they were friends-therefore 
Polly Pat was to be forgiven the mis- 
take. She stood on the church steps, 
quietly come out upon them, a vivid 
figure against the dark doorway. 
They saw that she saw them, and 
they knew that the wonderful kin- 
dling light in her face was because of 
them, because of what she thought 
she saw. She came down, she laid 
one hand lightly on Mrs. Farwell's 
arm— she was no longer afraid of 
Mrs. Farwell — and the other on Mrs. 
Noble's shawl; she spoke to those of 
the Ladies' Guild. 

"You don't mind, do you? I had 
to; they needed them. And besides, 



17^ Pol ly Pat's Pari sh 

it seems, oh, it seems a little bit as if 
it was making you friends." 

And pray, what was to be done 
about Annette's wardrobe then? 
Both then and after — ^nothing. Only, 
being under those radiant eyes, the 
Ladies* Guild and Factory End had 
nothing to do but to say good-bye to 
each other in friendly wise. 

A little smile touched Miss Ali- 
son's lips as she drove home. It had 
occurred to her to wonder which was 
doing more for Forrestdale, Mr. 
Everitt's wisdom or Polly Pat's 
blunders? 

It was the very next day that Miss 
Alison had an opportunity to 
strengthen the rector's purpose with 
some of her own new hopefulness. 
He had sought her in his puzzlement. 
As they sat in the quiet library, seem- 
ing so far away from all the strife 
and strain, the rector's whole self 
looked out of his wide, weary eyes as 
he asked: 




Two Men and the Min ister 173 

"Miss Farwell, is there anything 
left for me to do ? " 

" Yes/' said Alison Farwell. 

" What? " 

Miss Alison's quiet meditative re- 
pose steadied his excitement; she 
spoke half to herself, for she was 
thinking of Polly Pat's words as she 
said : " If they could only be friends, 
Old Forrestdale and Factory End; 
John Noble and my cousin " 

" An impractical dream," said the 
rector sadly. 

" But your own," answered Alison 
Farwell, smiling. " Allow me, now," 
she added, "to make an impractical 
suggestion. Bring John Noble and 
my cousin together. Arrange a meet- 
ing between them — ^wait and see what 
will happen." 

" Hate like that I " said the rector. 
"No one could bring those two to- 
gether." 

"No one but you, Mr. Everitt." 
Her steady, quiet eyes looked straight 



174 Polly Pat's Parish 

into his, speaking the hope he him- 
self had taught her. Slowly hope 
touched his tired face, too. He rose 
to go. " I wiU try," he said sunply. 

The rector was conscious of 
Charles Farwell's vanishing coat- 
tails as he was shown into the Judge's 
inner office. Since the evening of the 
Judge's visit to the rectory, Mr. 
Everitt had not crossed his threshold, 
either here or at Red Chimneys. It 
was not because the rector was un- 
willing to meet the Judge, it was be- 
cause he knew the Judge would be 
unwilling to meet him. " He knows 
I know he's a scoundrel," thought the 
minister to himself. " I couldn't ex- 
pect him to forgive me for knowing 
he's a scoundrel." Yet, in spite of 
the ugly word, Mr. Everitt no longer 
bore the Judge any ill feeling; cher- 
ishing of grudges was not an Everitt 
characteristic, and, besides, was not 
Judge Farwell a member of his par- 
ish? For the rector in the earlier 
days of their acquaintance there had 




Two Men and the Minister 1 7S 

always been something likable about 
the Judge, that twinkle back of the 
sternness of his eye, that twitching 
of grim lips at a joke. 

The Judge would be there in a 
minute, the office boy had said. Pres- 
ently he stood in the doorway, hesi- 
tant on his own threshold. He looked 
all his seventy years that afternoon, 
and there was another thing that hurt 
the rector; the Judge's look was nat- 
uraUy direct and searching, but now 
his eyes were veiled and shifty with 
a shame he vainly sought to conceal 
by a conventional greeting. 

" I am glad to see you, sir. Pray 
be seated." 

The rector extended his hand with 
its hearty grip. The Judge seated 
himself ponderously in his office 
chair at the rector's left, his bushy 
brows drawn together by a frown, 
one hand making idle passes with a 
pencil on a bit of paper. He did not 
look at the rector; of all sensations 
that the Rev. Brewster Everitt did 



1 76 Pol ly Pat^s Par ish 

not enjoy, the worst was the knowl- 
edge that he was making a man feel 
ashamed of himself. 

"Judge FarweU," he said, "I 
know I'm officious, and I know you'll 
think so. But I don't see my way 
out of it, so I beg your pardon before 
I begin." 

" Go ahead," muttered the Judge 
to the little pad in his hand. 

" I want to ask a favour," contin- 
ued Mr. Everitt, "although I've no 
right to ask it." 

"You've the best right," growled 
the Judge quite low. "I insulted 
you." Did the rector know how hard 
it had been for the Judge to live with- 
out his own self-respect for those past 
weeks? 

"I had hoped you'd forgotten," 
said the minister. 

" Had you? '' 

"I'm going to — ^if you'll help," 
said the other, smiling. 

At seventy there was much of the 
boy left in Judge Farwell. He 



Two Men and the Minister i "j"! 

swung about, his eyes looked out now 
level and direct. 

"What do you want?" he said; 
"rUdoit!" 

"No," said the rector quickly. 
"I'll ht)ld you to no rash promises. 
You must hear first. I want you and 
Noble to meet, by yourselves, and 
listen to each other — civilly and sen- 
sibly — for just half an hour." 

The Judge's whole figure stiff- 
ened, his mouth was set, an ugly 
light burned in his eyes, then passed, 
leaving his face quiet, intent. 
I keep my promise," he said. 
But I don't keep you to that, as 
I said just now," answered the min- 
ister quickly. 

"I will do it," said the Judge 
slowly, "because, as I said before, 
youVe a right to ask a favour." 

"Not for that reason, of all 
others," cried the minister, flushing. 

"Well, then," said the Judge, a 
grim smile touching his lips, " I'll do 
it anyway, for no reason at all, if you 






i 



178 Pol ly Pat^s Par ish 

like. But," his face was swiftly 
darkened, " but I hope you don't ex- 
pect any good to come of the inter- 
view? '* 

There was the mark of a sudden 
stab of pain in the rector's sensitive 
face, ' swiftly followed by a little 
smile as he pleaded. " But you won't 
take from me my right to hope, will 
you?" 

It was much harder work than the 
rector had expected to get Jack 
Noble to consent to the interview. 
" No," he kept reiterating doggedly, 
"it won't do no good. It ain't no 
use. You don't know the Farwells 
the way I do. A man like you 
couldn't." 

" Well, anyway, you'll try? " 

" What's the use? He won't, if I 
will. If you do get me to give in to 
a meeting, how are you going to get 
the Judge?" 

"I got him first, of course," an- 
swered the minister drily. 

Wednesday afternoon was wear- 



Two Men and the Min ister 179 

ing toward evening under a chiU, 
heavy sky. Factory End, under the 
awakening of spring, only seemed to 
look more squaUd in the cloudiness 
and threatened rain. The Judge 
was late in making his afternoon tour 
of his factories. The idle crowd 
about the factory doors was larger 
than usual. John Noble made a 
point of never being far from home 
at the hour of the Judge's inspection. 
This afternoon the crowd was quieter 
than usual; even they themselves did 
not know why ; everyone felt a tense- 
ness in the air, it seemed as if the 
slightest movement might snap it. 
So they waited, waited, as they did 
every afternoon, to see the Judge 
drive up. 

The trap rattled up at last, the 
Judge's broad-shouldered figure in 
the back seat, towering above that 
of the little black coachman in front. 
Susette was jerked up sharply at the 
door of Factory A. Curious how 
the crowd without a word pressed 



i8o Pol ly Paf s Par ish 

closer on the trap, closer, closer. The 
Judge's elbow brushed Dan New- 
man's breast as he jumped out. There 
was a bare passageway for the Judge 
between Susette's side and the front 
row of the strikers. The Judge 
marched on up the steps. He did not 
so much as turn his head, though he 
passed close enough to feel the breath 
of the men who hated him. He 
paused as he slowly unlocked the 
great door and entered, leaving it un- 
locked behind him. The crowd out- 
side, still perfectly quiet, surged for- 
ward. But someone had faced them, 
his broad back against the door. Jack 
Noble folded his arms. 

"No, you don't, boys," he said, 
very quietly. They fell back, but 
their stillness was not reassuring. 

"What you doing for us your- 
self, Jack?" growled someone. In 
that low growl Jack recognised the 
last throes of the fight, his fight to 
keep Factory End from violence. 



Two Men and the Minister 1 8 1 

Not a lash, however, quivered as he 
staked his last hope. 

** I'm going to do something now," 
he said as he turned and entered, 
closing the door upon them; "wait 
till I come out/' 

Through the great cavernous 
rooms, in the shadows of which 
lurked strange shapes of motionless 
machinery, the Judge's slow steps 
echoed as he went through his in- 
spection. No, no one had tampered 
with the machines, the great engines 
could make the whole silent place 
start into life whenever he willed — 
whenever he willed? He had not 
quite liked the look of that crowd. 
He stooped to feel a piece of belting, 
when suddenly out of the shadow of 
one of the great looms there stepped 
a man. 

The Judge started back. " Noble 1 '' 
he exclaimed. 

" He sent me," said Noble, stand- 
ing stiff and straight. 



1 8 2 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh 

"Yes, yes, I know," said the 
Judge. " I promised him; but the 
time — I didn't think to-day." 

" To-day is about the right time," 
said Noble, his ear tense for sounds 
out in the silent street. 

The Farwell pride rose here. 

" I suppose you understand," said 
the Judge, "that this — our con- 
ference — ^is entirely Mr. Everitt's 
doing? " 

" As far as I'm concerned, it's en- 
tirely Mr. Everitt's doing," answered 
John Noble, with equal haughtiness. 
They stood staring into each other's 
faces — which was to begin? A look 
of sudden scrutiny came into the 
Judge's gaze, it seemed to him there 
was a change in Noble. Not for six 
months had he seen him thus face to 
face. 

"You like him, don't you?" the 
Judge questioned suddenly. 

" Yes." 

" Why? " 

In the strange isolation of the 



Two Men and the Min ister 183 

silent factory their words seemed to 
be coming from them without their 
own volition. 

" He whipped me once," answered 
Jack Smasher. 

"He whipped me, too," said the 
Judge. 

" He's that kind," said Jack Noble 
obscurely, but the Judge seemed to 
understand. 

" Yes, he's that kind," said Judge 
Farwell, " and since he is, I suppose 
weVe got to talk this thing through 
now and here." 

Jack thrust forward one of the 
high stools that lined the wall; the 
Judge sat down, while Jack himself 
stood, his back to the beam of a loom. 
They talked with a new illuminating 
frankness which seemed to them, as 
both thought on it afterwards, al- 
most the work of wizardry, ahnost as 
if they had been under some secret 
hypnotic influence that forced them 
to speak, not as factory owner and 
factory foreman, not as Farwell and 



1 84 Pol ly Pat^s Pa rish 

Noble, but only as man and man. 
And they were coming to an agree- 
ment, an understanding, one that 
would, of course, have to be formally 
drawn up and ratified, but an agree- 
ment, nevertheless. It seemed as if 
each man felt the blessed ease of the 
relaxation of mental muscles, knot- 
ted to the strain of the past months. 
Both men drew the deep breath of 
relief when suddenly the Judge re- 
membered. 

" But Charles," he exclaimed. " I 
had forgotten. We must have his 
consent. I have not the author- 
ity " 

"Yes, Charles," said Noble, his 
face in an instant black; "Charles, 
we all forgot to reckon with him." 

" I must see him before giving the 
final decision," said the Judge; "yet 

still I trust " 

I don't," blurted Noble, rudely. 
I will go to him at once," said 
the Judge. 

John Noble followed him slowly 







Two Men and the Minister 1 85 

down the stairs arid out of the door. 
He had made his face expressioriless, 
for he knew what the eyes searching 
his were asking. The crowd drew 
back now to let the Judge step freely 
to his carriage. The evil looks had 
not hurt the Judge before, but now 
that his purpose toward his workmen 
was changed, he was sensitive to their 
hate. 

The men pressing toward Noble 
to question him let the Judge's trap 
roll quickly out of sight. There was 
a whisper of tense question voiced by 
one. 

"WeU, Jack, what did you do?" 

"Nothing — ^yet — ^but " he saw 

the mischief plotting in their faces — 
" if we wait a bit, I'm hoping " 

A laugh short and sharp as the 
bark of a dog was the answer. 

" Boys," cried Noble, seeing them 
turn, "remember the minister!" 
That word held them, they hesitated, 
then someone cried: "Boys, re- 
member the Farwells ! " 



X 

TWO FATHERS 

IT was characteristic of tte Far- 
wells that the offices of the 
firm were a good mile from the 
factories on Elm Avenue, the 
old business street of Forrestdale, re- 
mote from the smoke and steam and 
roar of machinery. To the offices 
the Judge now drove to find Charles. 
Seated at his own desk, his back to 
the door, busily writing, Charles gave 
no recognition of his father's pres- 
' ence except the little backward wave 
of his left hand somehow indicative 
of closer conaradeship than any more 
formal greeting. 

" Guess I'll have to interrupt you 
a little while, Charlie," ventured the 
Judge, who at this minute would 
rather have interviewed the mob in 
Factory End than his son. 

i86 



Two Fathers 187 

"One minute," answered Charles, 
then after a moment wheeled about, 
stretching his arms. "Nearly time 
for home," he said, 

"Not quite yet," answered his 
father, " Truth is, Charlie, some- 
thing has happened, I've had a little 
talk with Noble." 

The good humour of Charles's face 
gave place to sharp suspicion. He 
drew back his feet, comfortably 
stretched out, and sat straight and 
tense, regarding his father with nar- 
rowing eyes, 

"We've about come to an agree- 
ment," proceeded the Judge. 

Charles's thin lips curled back 
from his teeth unpleasantly, he 
looked as if he were about to utter a 
malediction, but all his closed teeth 
let out was "Everittl" 

" Guess you're right," assented the 
Judge. 

Charles sprang up and went and 
stood looking out of the window, his 






1 88 Pol ly Pat^s Pa rish 

back to his father, his hands clasped 
behind him, giving no sign of the 
fury withm him except by occasional 
spasmodic twitching of his fingers- 
The Judge watched and waited. 
When Charles turned about his face 
was grey as the clouds beyond the 
window, but his eyes were bright with 
an evil fire. 

YouVe given in? " he asked. 

Not altogether. Noble explained 
some of his points — he's not so un- 
reasonable after all — ^he made some 
suggestions, too, of improvements; 
he's pig-headed but honest — ^we came 
to a pretty good understanding — 
and then those poor devils down 

there " 

But here the Judge's broken sen- 
tences trailed off into silence. It is 
hard to face a look like that in the 
face of one's son. One is so likely 
to remember him as a little chap and 
to choke in one's excuses. Before 
Charles's white rage the Judge 
quailed. 



Two Father s 189 

"Father, I believe you're be- 
witched," said Charles, " How much 
have you promised Noble? " 

" I told him I could promise noth- 
ing without your consent." 

Relief cleared Charles Farwell's 
face perceptibly. 

" I consent to no concessions," he 
answered. 

But some of the Farwell spirit was 
stiffening the Judge's purpose. 
" It's true I promised nothing, but 
IVe led Noble to expect " 

"That rd agree?" sneered 
Charles. 

Charles had possessed that sneer 
ever since he was a child. Then the 
Judge had never been able to resist 
thrashing him for it, to his lasting re- 
gret. Now the father sought to con- 
trol his voice. 

" You will at least consent to listen 
to some of Noble's propositions." 

" No, I know them all. Allow me 
to suggest that I also know who it 
was that induced him to make them 



1 90 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish 

and you to listen to them. Am I 
right in my guess?" 

" And if you are, where's the harm 
done?" asked the Judge. 

" Oh, none, certainly. Allow me to 
state merely that it's about time for 
you to choose between me and — 
Everitt!" 

The Judge's face was flushed. He 
had never fought harder for calm 
speech. 

" Charles, do you appreciate the po- 
sition in which you place me by your 
— obstinacy? IVe let Noble and " 

"Everitt," Charles supplied the 
name. 

"Expect certain things of me," 
concluded the Judge. 

"Very sorry," said Charles, po- 
litely. 

"You insist on placing me in a 
false position? " 

"You placed yourself in a false 
position, father," Charles's voice was 
quiet. 

The Judge knew his son, knew of 



Two Fathers 191 

old how futilely the storm of his tem- 
per would beat upon such obstinacy. 
He faced Charles for a moment, his 
eyes a flame of anger beneath his 
bushy brows, then his fists knotted 
and he stormed through the door that 
led to his own office, letting it slam 
behind him. Charles heard the sharp 
ring of his father's steps as he paced 
the floor. At length he flung in 
again. "One thing I ask,'* he de- 
manded abruptly, "if you insist on 
tying my hands, there'll be trouble 
down yonder. I want you to take 
Amy and the children and get out of 
town and leave me to settle the mess 
you insist on making." 

Charles looked up with a suspicion 
in his eye wholly unexpected to his 
father, who exploded: "Heavens, 
man, I don't mean that! Haven't I 
given my word I'll not yield an arti- 
cle without your consent? You can 
trust me, can't you? All I mean is, 
there's going to be a fight and I want 
you to clear out." 



192 Polly Pat's Parish 

" I won't," said Charles. 

But sharp anxiety made the Judge 
patient. " Come," he said, " don't 
say no to that, too. Promise at least 
that you'll take till to-morrow to 
think about going. Promise that 
much." 

" For what reason? " 

"It might be reason enough," 
answered the Judge with a ciu*ious 
quietness, for he felt suddenly very 
tired, "it might be reason enough 
that your father asks it, Charlie," 
and he turned quickly and went out 
and downstau-s to his carriage. 

" Take the turn around by Farley 
Creek," said the Judge to the coach- 
man. He thought the air on the hills 
might do his head good before they 
should circle around into Forrestdale 
again, and so out through the town 
home to Red Chimneys. 

Down in Factory End, meanwhile, 
it was very still, for a whisper had 
spread, "Wait a bit, keep quiet till 



Two Fathers i93 

Jack's out of the way," and so John 
Noble had fancied the crowd dis- 
persed without any mischief's having 
been done. 

Polly Pat was not the only one 
who found Alison refreshing in dis- 
tress. Charles Farwell thought he 
would drop in on his cousin before 
pressing on up the hill to Red Chim- 
neys. He was not quite ready to 
face his father at dinner. Charles 
hated any unpleasantness at home. ..^ 

He was both surprised and dis- 
pleased to find another guest before 
him, a tall girl in white, with eyes 
disconcertingly clear and direct. 
Polly Pat had been bidden to dine 
with Miss Alison, and by the latter's 
request had let down her two braids 
for the occasion. She tossed them 
back with an impatient shake of her 
head as she rose, seeking to say a 
polite good evening to Charles Far- 
well. Charles Farwell was accus- 
tomed to concealing his emotions. 



194 Polly Pat's Parish 

Polly Pat was accustomed to declar- 
ing hers, but it would have been plain 
to any third observer that both Miss 
Alison's guests were heartUy sorry 
to see each other. Miss Alison, how- 
ever, had the gift of making conver- 
sation on such occasions, and both 
Charles and Polly Pat felt a grow- 
ing sense of ease and comfort while 
Miss Alison talked on. They had 
chattered thus perhaps half an 
hoiu* when Polly Pat started, listen- 
ing intently, " What was that? " she 
cried. 

" What, dear? I didn't hear any- 
thing." 

" Listen I " whispered Polly Pat. 

It was always quiet on the hillside ; 
what was that distant, muffled sound 
growing louder, nearer, a low roar, 
inarticulate, yet somehow himian? 
Polly Pat jmnped up, all colour sud- 
denly wiped from her ruddy face. 
"I know what it is!" she said; 
"they're coming! I wonder where 
Cap is? " 



Two Fathers 195 

All three rushed to the broad front 
window, and, sweeping aside the cur- 
tains, looked out. The cloudy April 
evening at seven still allowed them 
to see aU things clearly and the ele- 
vation of the house prevented any 
obstruction of view from the hedge 
that separated Miss Alison's grounds 
and the roadway. 

The inarticulate roar now resolved 
itself into the shouts and cries of a 
mob, and through all they heard the 
sound of wheels and the cracking of 
the whip as the Judge's two-seated 
trap came into sight at the turn of 
the road. The little black driver sat 
huddled down in front; grim and 
motionless, the Judge sat alone in the 
back seat. All about him, at each 
side and behind, surged sinister black 
forms, arms brandished in threat, 
fists shaken almost in the Judge's 
face, while he never stirred; and 
those cries, hoarse with hate — ^PoUy 
Pat aU her life long never forgot 
them! 



196 Pol ly Pat's Par ish 

She watched, her white face quiv- 
ering, her whole frame tense, hardly 
seeming to breathe as the carriage 
and the mob drew nearer. Then 
as they looked, one man swerved 
aside, caught up a great stone, made 
a lunge toward the carriage. But all 
at once, mysteriously cleft through, 
the crowd swayed, parted. Right 
through them someone had pressed 
his way, someone with face white as 
Polly Pat's had leaped into the mov- 
ing carriage, was seated in a flash at 
the Judge's side, so close that what- 
ever harm came to the Judge must 
come to him, too — ^their minister, the 
friend of Factory End! 

"I knew Cap would come," 
breathed Polly Pat as she swayed a 
little and her head sank on Miss Ali- 
son's shoulder ; but she was too strong 
a girl to faint, and through clouded, 
dizzy eyes she still saw the crowd at 
the gateway, saw the mob hesitate, 
sway, and at last turn and slink 




Two Fathers 197 

slowly back down the hillside, while 
the carriage drove on in safety. She 
had thought only of her own father 
until, slowly coming to full conscious- 
ness, she was aware of Charles Far- 
well's face. Why did it not reflect 
the utter relief of her own soul? Did 
he not realise it was all over now? 

" They're safe," she said, reassur- 
ing him just as she might have done 
one of her little brothers, " it's all 
right now. Never mind, it's aU over." 

But Charles Farwell spoke neither 
to Polly Pat nor his cousin, but only 
to himself, as he answered thickly, 
"I did iti" 

Polly Pat did not understand him ; 
Miss Alison half guessed his mean- 
ing, but neither would have pressed 
any word upon him at that moment; 
they were both too sorry for him. 

" Come," said Polly Pat to him at 
length, once more her active self, 
" we must go and see how they are — 
our fathers." 



1 98 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish 

He followed her hurrying steps, 
the breeze whipping her muslin skirts 
about her ankles as she flew down the 
path and out of the Hedgrows en- 
trance, up the hill and around, until 
they stood by the high stone por- 
tals of the gates of Red Chimneys. 
The house was yet some distance 
off, standing as it did on a wooded 
knoll. 

Through the still leafless tree 
branches the piazza and lighted win- 
dows were visible. The great front 
door opened for a moment, showing 
a ruddy stream of light, and at the 
same instant the April breeze bore 
to them through the quiet evemng 
the sound of the Judge's resonant 
voice, sharply cut off as the door 
closed again. The sound was reas- 
suriQg, bringing both the anxious 
ones at the gate back to a sense of 
everyday realities. The eff*ect on 
Charles Farwell was a sudden cur- 
ious embarrassment; his father was 
all right, was the same father from 



Two Fathers 199 

whom he had parted in anger some 
two hours earlier. He did not feel 
quite like grasping his hand and look- 
ing him in the eye, so that shame 
made his steps hesitant. 

Polly Pat was flying on. She 
turned quickly. " Why, . what's^the 
matter? " she asked. 

" Gro on. I'll come by and by," 
answered Charles, in a voice that for 
some reason made PoUy Pat turn 
back to him, standing there beneath 
the hanging lamp of the stone gate 
portal. Something was wrong, she 
felt it instantly. 

"What is the matter?" she re- 
peated, her wide-eyed child face aU 
intensest sympathy. He did not 
answer. Polly Pat's eyes were intent 
upon his face, searching it to know 
how to help him. She ventured ex- 
perimentally at last. 

"He is all right now, you know. 
I understand about fathers." 

"Oh, it isn't that," said Charles 
Farwell, almost irritably. 



} ! 



1 



!i I 



i 



200 Polly Pat's Parish 

" WeU, what in the world is it? " 
queried Polly Pat. 

"I— I '' you couldn't help 

talking to Polly Pat as sincerely as 
you would talk to a child. "I 
wouldn't do what he wanted/* con- 
cluded Charles. 

Polly Pat uttered a long drawn 
"Oh" of comprehension. "I see," 
she said: "hut then," she added, 
"you know you always have to do 
what the fathers want — ^that is, pro- 
vided it isn't wrong ; but then it never 
is wrong." 

Still the other one was silent. 

" Can't you do it still, what he 
wants?" suggested Polly Pat. 

"Possibly," he admitted gruflBly, 
adding: "You'd better go on up to 
the house." 

" I've just got to see Cap," ad- 
mitted Polly Pat; "but you'll 
come? " 

"By arid by," he answered and 
Polly Pat on the instant was running 



Two Fathers 201 

up the circling gravel walks to the 
house. The Judge himself admitted 
her and showed her into the library. 
The women of the household he had 
peremptorily ordered out of the way 
when he and Mr. Everitt had en- 
tered. 

Leaning against the mantel of the 
library fireplace stood the Captain, 
very pale. The black butler was just 
serving him with a cup of cofl[^ee, but 
the minister put down the cup on the 
mantelpiece when he saw that white 
clad figure in the doorway. 

Captain I " breathed Polly Pat. 
Daughter I" said the rector. 

Then the Judge turned away, 
blinking hard. Letting go at last, 
Polly Pat pushed Captain down into 
an armchair, then brought the coffee 
to him. 

"Now drink before you speak," 
she commanded. When he had fin- 
ished she knelt with elbows on the 
arm of the Morris chair, looking with 






j 

.■ 



202 Polly Pat's Parish 

intent, puzzled eyes into his face as 
he let his head fall back upon the 
cushions. 

" Cap," she asked, " now that it's 
all over, why is it that you aren't 
gladder? " 

The minister's lips were com- 
pressed into a thin line. There was 
a sharp little frown between his eyes, 
but he smiled as if in apology for 
his exhaustion, as he said, including 
both the Judge and Polly Pat: 

" I didn't quite know how much 
I'd hoped imtil I saw their faces, 

heard them cry out — ^that way " 

he shut his eyes an instant, the little 
frown of pain deepening, " and they 
are my people, and they hate like 
that " 

"Don't you hope any more. 
Cap?" whispered Polly Pat. 

" No, not now," he answered. 

But at this Polly Pat's entire man- 
ner changed. "Then it's just be- 
cause you're tired," she responded 



Two Fathers 203 

briskly. " We'll just put off hoping 
until to-morrow morning, when you'U 
feel better. Just lie back and rest 
now, and pretty soon we'll go home." 
She began to pat his hand with little 
rhythmic rat-tat-tats, rat-tat-tats. 
It would not have soothed every- 
body's nerves, that energetic patting, 
but it appeared to do the minister 
good. 

It occurred to the Judge it was 
about time for him to steal away. He 
went out and began pacing the long 
piazza. The tap of his boot heels 
was audible far in the evening quiet, 
audible as far as where someone 
waited in the great gateway. The 
sight of Polly Pat and her father 
had set the Judge thinking. He, too, 
understood about fathers, being one 
himself, with just one child. Where 
was the boy now? Safe, of course, 
since the trouble was over for the 
time. But why didn't he come home? 
The worst of their rare quarrels was 



II 



r 






i 



204 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish 

that it always took Charles so long to 
make up. Down by the gate Charles's 
quick ear caught the sound of foot- 
steps coming up the hillside — ^nearer, 
nearer, and presently a great biu*ly 
form was beside him under the arch. 
Charles felt his every muscle stiffen 
for a spring — ^if anyone, should dare 
to attempt more harm to that man up 
yonder on the porch! Jack Noble 
saw the tenseness of the attitude, the 
suspicion flaming in Charles's eyes, 
andsmiled. 

" No harm intended this time," he 
growled, "and this row just over 
wasn't none of my doing, either. Is 
he aU right?" 

"Don't you see him up there on 
the piazza?" responded Charles. 

John Noble looked up toward the 
house and saw a tall form silhouetted 
against a bright window space. 

"I meant the minister," said 
Noble. 

"He's inside. I suppose he's all 
right," answered Charles. 



/. 



Two Fathers 205 

"Don't you know?" demanded 
Noble fiercely. 

" Would my f aither be walking the 
iporch as calmly as that if there was 
anything wrong with the minister? '' 
growled Charles. 

"Not much, I guess," answered 
Noble, setting ojff up to the house. 

" Noble I " Charles's voice rang out 
sharply. 

Noble stopped. 

"Here!" commanded Charles. 

Noble turned around, not taking 
a step toward Charles. " I can hear 
you where I am," he said shortly. 

"You tell my father," said 
Charles Farwell, "that you arid he 
can fix it up as you please. You may 
count me out of it entirely." 

Noble made no motion of proceed- 
ing on his way, at which Charles 
added : " That's all you need tell him. 
He'll understand, if you don't." 

" Oh, I understand all right," an- 
swered Noble, continuing his way up 
the zigzagging hill path, lit now by 



2o6 Polly Pat's Parish 

twinkling electric lights. He drew 
aside into the shadow of some shrub- 
bery as he saw the door open and two 
figures come down the path toward 
him. He did not come out of his re- 
treat as he recognised them, and be- 
neath the nearest light saw Mr. 
Everitt's face, white and spent as 
Noble had never seen him. Polly 
Pat had her arm in her father's. As 
they passed, John Noble caught her 
words : " Don't mind it so much, old 
Cap. Perhaps everything will be all 
right." 

" Hope it will be — for him," mut- 
tered Noble to himself. " He's tried 
hard enough — wonder why? " 

The Judge's nerves were of iron, 
but they acknowledged their recent 
strain in the start with which the 
Judge perceived the great form loom 
up on the piazza steps. 

"It's Noble," said the newcomer; 
then, standing stiff and straight, he 
added : " Judge Farwell, this after- 
noon was none of my doing." 



Two Fathers 207 

" I know it," responded the Judge. 
" IVe the minister's word for that as 
well as your own." 

"You're all right?" questioned 
Noble. 

"Yes, thanks to him," the Judge 
answered. 

"'Bout time all Forrestdale was 
saying ' thanks to him ' for one thing 
or another." 

"You're right," acquiesced the 
Judge heartily. "But what's both- 
ering me to-night — I wish there was 
something more to do than just say- 
ing my thanks." 

"There ain't, though. You 
couldn't do nothing for a man like 
him. 'Tain't ifem^« he wants. lean 
understand how you'd feel, though," 
John Noble added. 

" I've had a little idea about some- 
thing we might do for him," the 
Judge broke off a twig of leafless 
vine as he spoke, " and it isn't things 
either. Besides it has something to 
do with yourself. Noble." 



XI 

EASTER INT FOBfiESTDALE 

DOWN the street in the 
bright mid-afternoon sun- 
shine there marched a 
short but curious proces- 
sion, three umbrellas in a line, each 
draped about with shawls sweeping 
the pavement and concealing all 
means by which the three tents moved 
on. The procession was arrested by 
a sudden voice. 
"Whose children are these?*' 
" The children of Israel, sir," piped 
a shrill voice in answer, adding: 
This is the wilderness.' 
" Why, I thought it was Forrest- 
dale," exclaimed the first voice in 
great surprise. 

Through the fringe of the shawl 
at the tent opening, one bright eye 

appeared; there was a shriek of joy, 

208 



I- 



I#^'^ 



" The Bislio[> meets ' the ChiUIren of Israel ' *' 






I I f 



"■^ .*. r» 










Easter in Forrestdale 209 

then over went all the tents into the 
gutter, as Annette and the twins 
swarmed upon the bishop. He was 
on his way from the station to the 
rectory, having forgotten to take a 
cab, although always admonished to 
do so by his housekeeper. It was 
well she should remember the bishop 
was eighty, if he could not remember 
it himself, she was wont to say. 

The bishop had plotted to sur- 
prise the Everitts with a week-end 
visit. At Easter time the loneliness 
of his great house was wont to be- 
come more than usually oppressive. 
The night before the bishop had 
found himself sitting into the small 
hours gazing at the fading fire, until 
in the stillness he seemed to hear light 
steps going up and down the stair 
and the lilt of a girlish song sung by 
a voice many years silent — ^until at 
length the bishop had risen. "I'm 
getting old, and that will never do," 
he had said to himself. " I must go 



I 

I 

I I 

I 



2 1 o Po lly Pat's Pa rish 

a- visiting. How about Everitt? 
There's trouble up his way." 

Thus to-day here he was in For- 
restdale, with three small Everitts 
giving him greeting. The Everitts 
had no grandfather of their own, 
but the bishop served very well in 
that capacity. 

" And how is the father and Paul 
and Herself?" inquired the bishop. 
"Herself" had always been his 
name for the little fly-away, red- 
haired girl he had known from her 
babyhood. 

"Paul's all right," said Blitzen, 

but Cap's tired, Polly Pat says, 
and we were to keep quiet.' 

Did you know about the strike? 
asked Dunder, round-eyed and im- 
portant. 

" Yes," said the bishop. 

" They had a fight last night — 
pretty nearly," continued Dunder, 
" only Polly Pat said we mustn't talk 
about it." 



" uut ^ap s tirea, jrouy 

t 

<tT\*J 1 «T J. J.l-_ _J •! O 99 

! 

I 

I 

I 
^ 



Easter in Forrestdale 211 

The three now picked up their 
tents and prepared to escort the 
bishop home. They carried the um- 
brellas over their shoulders with the 
dependent canopies floating out in 
the rear. They burst in abruptly 
upon Captain and Polly Pat in the 
study, the Captain seated in his desk- 
chair, Polly Pat on his desk. 

"We've brought the bishop," an- 
nounced Annette, tugging forward 
the dear old figure in the familiar old 
cape overcoat. The rector jumped 
up, his face aglow ; Polly Pat rushed 
forward. 

" How is it with thee, lad? " asked 
the bishop, grasping Mr. Everitt's 
hand; then turning to Polly Pat he 
took both her hands in his, his gentle 
old eyes scanning all her face. " And 
this is Herself? " he asked. " Little 
Herself grown to this? Oh, these 
little girls of ours," he shook his head 
and smiled, thinking of his own little 
girl, "they slip into women while 



212 Polly Pafs Parish 

we're not looking — when they have 
fathers to take care of." 

" I'm so glad you've come," said 
Polly Pat, "there isn't anybody I 
could have wanted to come so much. 
Captain's pretty tired — ^with every- 
thing that's happened. I guess I'll 
take the Foxir-in-hand up to the gar- 
ret so that you two can be quiet down 
here." 

The most comforting thing about 
the bishop was that he let people 
pour forth all their trouble to him 
without any check or protest, know- 
ing the blessedness of utter unre- 
serve, and knowing, too, that people 
wearied and worried are always bet- 
ter and braver than their words. Mr. 
Everitt's impetuous speech spent it- 
self, while the bishop, who out of 
many years of lonely service had won 
the treasure of infinite hope, sat 
quietly there in the great armchair, 
thinking to himself once of another 
Good Friday afternoon with its ay 
of despair at men's hate. 



Easter in Forrestdale 213 

The rector ended at last, summing 
all up as he said: "IVe tried with 
all my heart and IVe failed." 

" How do you know? " 

" I saw them," answered the other ; 
"they hate each other — ^my own 
people." 

" There is one thing," said the 
bishop musingly, "one thing years 
have taught me — ho service is ever 
wasted — and so I wonder why it is 
that service, mere service, isn't 
enough for us; why we demand also 
to see our success." But the gentle 
peace of the old face spoke more 
to the rector than the bishop's 
words. 

" I suppose I have let myself get 
a bit down," he admitted. "I 
couldn't have talked like this to any- 
one else." 

" Then I'm glad I came," said the 
bishop. 

"But," went on Mr. Everitt, his 
face clouding again, " I must admit 
that what I'm at present afraid of is 



2 1 4 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh 

that they'll take from me my power 
to help them, that they'U aSk me to 
resign. This vestry meeting to-mor- 
row morning, at which I'm requested 
not to be present — I can't see what 
it means, except my resignation." 

" I would wait, I think, if I were 
you," suggested the hishop, a quaint 
little smile touching his lips. 

"And meanwhile cheer up?" said 
the rector, straightening up with 
sudden, unexpected briskness. 

" That would do no harm, would 
it?" said the bishop, a little twinkle 
in his eyes. 

The next day after the Lenten 
morning service, the bishop and the 
rector walked back across the church 
lawn surrounded by a troop of 
young Everitts. There was a drirale 
of fine rain and a sharp chill in the 
air. It was not a cheering morning, 
and besides the rector had left his 
vestry in possession of the lecture 
room, not knowing the purpose of 



Easter in Forrestdale 215 

the meeting or the reason for his own 
exclusion. Even the bishop had ob- 
served a curious air of secrecy in the 
bearing of the assembled vestrymen, 
a subdued excitement not altogether 
reassuring. 

As they all trooped in by the study 
door the bishop announced : " I be- 
lieve I have something upstairs in my 
valise." 

" Shall we go up and get it? " sug- 
gested the twins. 

" I believe you'd better," returned 
the bishop, and instantly they were 
off, returning with the vahse, a 
shabby affau- once bright and black 
and shiny. The bishop investigated 
and drew forth a small brown packet 
which he presented to Annette to 
open. She disclosed a number of 
little envelopes bearing a bright 
blotch of color at one end with 
printed matter below. All five 
Everitts examined eagerly. 

"I wonder," said the bishop, 






s peniaps." 

I ■ 

j a 9^ T^n ^^i_ !«__ » 



21 6 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh 

dropping his voice mysteriously, " if 
she — ^the lady in the kitchen — ^would 
let us have some eggs and a few old 
pans perhaps.' 

Yes, she will," cried Annette, 

cause ril ask her/' She skipped 
kitchenward. 

"You'll join, won't you?" asked 
the bishop of the rector. "And is 
Herself grown too old for Easter 
eggs?" then added to the rector: 
" Mine " — ^there was so much in that 
httle word! — "mine never grew too 
old for Easter eggs." 

It is no light matter to have one's 
kitchen invaded by seven in the mid- 
dle of a Saturday morning, but it 
was the bishop who had suggested it, 
and Annette who had asked it. 'Ziah 
cleared her Saturday baking into a 
corner, her face at first grim enough 
as the seven took possession. She in- 
sisted only in enveloping the Four- 
in-hand in towels and her own aprons 
— odd enough they looked as they 




Easter in Forrestdale 217 

capered about. Such marvels as they 
all produced, such crimsons and blues 
and bronzes ! And these brilliant hues 
were not by any means entirely con- 
fined to the eggs. 

The white-haired bishop at eighty 
was such an irresistible boyl His 
eagerness infected the rector, made 
Polly Pat a small girl again. It 
was good to hear the rector's laugh 
ring out like that — 'Ziah could not 
stay aloof in her corner. She washed 
the dough from her hands, disap- 
peared upstairs and returned with 
various bits of bright calico. She 
showed them all how to tie up the 
eggs in these bright scraps of cotton 
and showed what brilliant results 
could be obtained by boiling. All 
were crowded about her steaming 
kettle with eager, watching faces 
when there came a ring at the door- 
bell. The rector answered it. His 
face was a grown-up face once more 
when he returned to the kitchen say- 



2 1 8 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish 

ing that the vestry requested the 
bishop to meet them for a short con- 
ference in the lecture room. 

If the rector expected any en- 
lightenment as to this mysterious 
summons on the bishop's return, he 
did not receive it. If the vestry re- 
quested their bishop to keep a secret 
he could do it. 

Easter Day had a sullen, rainy 
dawn, but just before service time 
the sun came lustily bursting through 
and a brisk wind swept the radiant 
April sky all clear of cloud. The 
raindrops twinkled on bare brown 
twigs where the buds of spring were 
just swelling to life, and the chimes 
of Calvary church pealed forth their 
jocund Easter summons. It seemed 
as if aU Forrestdale were pouring in 
at the church doors into the fragrant 
interior, all abloom with lilies. 

Polly Pat, Annette and Paul were 
seated in the rectory pew, for the 
twins were in the dioir. Polly Pat 



Easter in Forrestdale 219 

heard her little brothers' voices float 
pure and high over all the rest, as 
they led the white procession of choir 
boys up the central aisle to the chan- 
cel. The final alleluia pealed forth 
in a great volume of sound, sinking 
to silence before Blitzen's clear so- 
prano soared upward in the first an- 
them, " Christ our Passover is sacri- 
ficed for us, therefore let us keep the 
feast. Not with the old leaven, 
neither with the leaven of malice and 
wickedness, but with the unleavened 
bread of sincerity and truth." 

" Neither with the leaven of malice 
and wickedness," the words kept re- 
peating themselves over and over in 
PoUy Pat's brain. " Everything is 
so glad to-day," she thought, "that 
I just feel as if something glad must 
be going to happen to Cap," and 
then, at last, as the choir boys sank 
into their seats, she saw her father's 
face — ^pale still, but with all worry, 
all strain mysteriously wiped from 



220 Pol ly Pat's Par ish 

it, leaving only a marvellous joy. In 
his voice all through the service there 
was a thrill of this same solemn joy 
that caught at the heartstrings of his 
hearers. 

" The something glad has hap- 
pened," thought Polly Pat, not 
knowing yet the secret of the little 
note that had been put into the rec- 
tor's hand on entering church, nor 
did she know until her father came 
forward to the chancel steps to read 
the announcements. It was clear that 
he could not quite trust himself to 
speak, in so few bare words did he 
state the two facts: 

" To some my first announcement 
may seem out of place at a religious 
service, but to my mind, my breth- 
ren, nothing of vital importance to a 
community should be regarded as 
alien or apart from the life of their 
ehm-ch. I therefore announce that the 
strike at the FarWell factories is de- 
clared over, and that the mills will 



Easter in Forrestdale 221 



resume work to-morrow. I am fur- 
ther requested by the vestry of this 
parish to amiounce to you that at a 
special meeting, held yesterday, Mr. 
John Noble was elected to the vacant 
office of junior warden of this 
church." 

As the amen of the hymn died 
away, the bishop mounted the pulpit 
steps to preach the Easter sermon. 
The bishop's words were always 
those of a prophet, and yet the 
strange thing was that you always 
forgot them because you remembered 
only the bishop himself — ^the crown 
of white hair, the stooping shoulders, 
the thin old hands that trembled a 
little, the shining peace of his face 
and the heart of hope within him. 
To many it seemed that his last 
words held the secret of the bishop's 
very self — ^the broken body and the 
sorrow-crowded life, and over all 
the living soul, forever victoriously 
youthful — as he said: "My breth- 




222 Polly Pat's Parish 

ren, in this world we sometimes tbink 
so sick and sad and sorry a place, it 
is hate alone that killeth; it is love 
that forever giveth life." 

As the offertory anthem rang 
through the chinch, two men side by 
side took up the offering. Bearing 
the laden plates they went up the 
long aisle toward their minister, 
waiting. Squarely bmit they were 
both, tall and strong and heavy, step- 
ping firmly side by side, shoulder to 
shoulder, as if they had been friends 
— Judge Farwell and John Noble. 
The light in their rector's eyes as he 
looked down toward them was all 
that they had planned and hoped for. 

It seemed as if that whole congre- 
gation was bent on shaking hands 
with their minister and the bishop be- 
fore they left the church. They 
surged out upon them as the two 
stood in the vestibule. On one side 
of the rector stood John Noble, and 
on the other Judge Farwell, and they. 



Easter in Forres tdale 223 

did not withdraw, but merely stood 
back as all the others came crowding 
up. 

Polly Pat, with face so bright that 
her eyes were wet and shining and 
her lips trembling, found that she 
could not get near her father at this 
moment. Timothy Noble had found 
his way to her side, and Charles Far- 
well, holding Flo by the hand, was 
pressing toward her. It was in 
Charles Farwell's mind to give in and 
shake the rector's hand like the rest 
of them, and let him know by a word 
or two perhaps how he felt about 
that night — ^that night the rector had 
saved his father's life. But it was 
easier, somehow, to stop and talk to 
Polly Pat. To Miss Alison, quietly 
watching, it seemed that Polly Pat 
did not make the slightest difference 
in manner as she turned from one to 
the other, between Tim Noble and 
Charles Farwell. 

Miss .Alison, as she glanced from 



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224 Polly Pat's Parish 

Mr. Everitt to Polly Pat, was think- 
ing of the change in the two facies 
since the day when she had first seen 
them, when father and daughter had 
stood together in the rectory door- 
way at her leaving. She remembered 
Polly Pat's parting words : " We do 
so want to do our best for Forrest- 
dale." She remembered also : " Six- 
teen is grown-up, don't you truly 
think so?" Sixteen had not been 
grown-up then; was sixteen grown- 
up now? 

Then Polly Pat saw Miss Alison 
and came to her, laying one hand on 
Miss Alison's arm, and with the other 
making a little gesture toward the 
group about the rector and the 
bishop. " Friends! " said Polly Pat. 
" Cap has done it, hasn't he? " 

Just for a moment Miss Alison's 
eyes were dimmedja^e looked into 

HMn^iace, and an- 



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